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PREFACE, BY BISHOP WHIPPLE .................................. y 


INTRODUCTORY ............................................... 9 

THE DELAWARES. . . -. ......................................... 82 

THE CHEYENNES .............................................. 66 

THE NEZ PERCES ............................................. 103 

THE Sioux. ................................................. 136 

THE PONCAS ................................................. 186 

THE WINNEBAGOES ........................................... 218 

THE CHEROKEES .......................................................................... 267 




I. The Conestoga Massacre 298 

II. The Gnadenhiitten Massacre 317 

HI. Massacres of Apaches 324 












WOMAN 395 











I HAVE been requested to write a preface to this sad story of 
*A Century of Dishonor." I cannot refuse the request of one 
whose woman's heart has pleaded so eloquently for the poor Red 
men. The materials for her book have been taken from official 
documents. The sad revelation of broken faith, of violated trea- 
ties, and of inhuman deeds of violence will bring a flush of shame 
to the cheeks of those who love their country. They will wonder 
how our rulers have dared to so trifle with justice, and provoke 
the anger of God. Many of the stories will be new to the reader. 
The Indian owns no telegraph, employs no press reporter, and his 
side of the story is unknown to the people. 

Nations, like individuals, reap exactly what they sow ; they 
who sow robbery reap robbery. The seed-sowing of iniquity re- 
plies in a harvest of blood. The American people have accepted 
as truth the teaching that the Indians were a degraded, brutal 
race of savages, whom it was the will of God should perish at 
the approach of civilization. If they do not say with our Puri- 
tan fathers that these are the Hittites who are to be driven out 
before the saints of the Lord, they do accept the teaching that 
manifest destiny will drive the Indians from the earth. The in- 
exorable has no tears or pity at the cries of anguish of the doom- 
ed race. Ahab never speaks kindly of Naboth, whom he has 
robbed of his vineyard. It soothes conscience to cast mud on the 
character of the one whom we have wronged. 

The people have laid the causes of Indian wars at the door of 
the Indian trader, the people on the border, the Indian agents, 
the army, and the Department of the Interior. None of these are 
responsible for the Indian wars, which have cost the United States 
five hundred millions of dollars and tens of thousands of valua- 
ble lives. In the olden time the Indian trader was the Indian's 
friend. The relation was one of mutual dependence. If the 
trader oppressed the Indian he was in danger of losing his debt; 


if the Indian refused to pay his debts, the trader must leave the 
country. The factors and agents of the old fiir companies tell us 
that their goods were as safe in the unguarded trading-post as in 
the civilized village. The pioneer settlers have had too much at 
stake to excite an Indian massacre, which would overwhelm their 
loved ones in ruin. The army are not responsible for Indian 
wars; they are "men under authority," who go where they are 
sent. The men who represent the honor of the nation have a 
tradition that lying is a disgrace, and that theft forfeits charac- 
ter. General Crook expressed the feeling of the army when he 
replied to a friend who said, "It is hard to go on such a cam- 
paign." " Yes, it is hard ; but, sir, the hardest thing is to go and 
fight those whom you know are in the right." The Indian Bu- 
reau is often unable to fulfil the treaties, because Congress has 
failed to make the appropriations. If its agents are not men of 
the highest character, it is largely due to the fact that we send a 
man to execute this difficult trust at a remote agency, and expect 
him to support himself and family on $1500 a year. The Indian 
Bureau represents a system which is a blunder and a crime. 

The Indian is the only human being within our territory who 
has no individual right in the soil. He is not amenable to or 
protected by law. The executive, the legislative, and judicial 
departments of the Government recognize that he has a posses- 
sory right in the soil; but his title is merged in the tribe the 
man has no standing before the law. A Chinese or a Hottentot 
would have, but the native American is left pitiably helpless. 
This system grew out of our relations at the first settlement of 
the country. The isolated settlements along the Atlantic coast 
could not ask the Indians, who outnumbered them ten to one, to 
accept the position of wards. No wise policy was adopted, with 
altered circumstances, to train the Indians for citizenship. Trea- 
ties were made of the same binding force of the constitution ; but 
these treaties were unfilled. It may be doubted whether one sin- 
gle treaty has ever been fulfilled as it would have been if it had 
been made with a foreign power. The treaty has been made as 
between two independent sovereigns. Sometimes each party has 
been ignorant of the wishes of the other; for the heads of both 
parties to the treaty have been on the interpreter's shoulders, and 
he was the owned creature of corrupt men, who desired to use 
the Indians as a key to unlock the nation's treasury. Pledges, 
solemnly made, have been shamelessly violated. The Indian has 
had no redress but war. In these wars ten white men were kill- 


ed to one Indian, and the Indians who were killed have cost the 
Government a hundred thousand dollars each. Then came a new 
treaty, more violated faith, another war, until we have not a hun- 
dred miles between the Atlantic and Pacific which has not heen 
the scene of an Indian massacre. 

All this while Canada has had no Indian wars. Our Govern- 
ment has expended for the Indians a hundred dollars to their one. 
They recognize, as we do, that the Indian has a possessory right 
to the soil. They purchase this right, as we do, by treaty; but 
their treaties are made with the Indian subjects of Her Majesty. 
They set apart & permanent reservation for them; they seldom re- 
move Indians ; they select agents of high character, who receive 
their appointments for life ; they make fewer promises, but they 
fulfil them; they give the Indians Christian missions, which have 
the hearty support of Christian people, and all their efforts are 
toward self-help and civilization. An incident will illustrate the 
two systems. The officer of the United States Army who was 
sent to receive Alaska from the Russian Government stopped in 
British Columbia. Governor Douglas had heard that an Indian 
had been murdered by another Indian. He visited the Indian 
tribe; he explained to them that the murdered man was a sub- 
ject of Her Majesty ; he demanded the culprit. The murderer 
was surrendered, was tried, was found guilty, and was hanged. 
On reaching Alaska the officer happened to enter the Greek 
church, and saw on the altar a beautiful copy of the Gospels in 
a costly binding studded with jewels. He called upon the Greek 
bishop, and said, " Your Grace, I called to say you had better re- 
move that copy of the Gospels from the church, for it may be 
stolen." The bishop replied, "Why should I remove it ? It was 
the gift of the mother of the emperor, and has lain on the altar 
seventy years." The officer blushed, and said, "There is no law 
in the Indian country, and I was afraid it might be stolen." The 
bishop said, " The book is in God's house, and it is His book, and 
I shall not take it away." The book remained. The country 
became ours, and the next day the Gospel was stolen. 

Our Indian wars are needless and wicked. The North Amer- 
ican Indian is the noblest type of a heathen man on the earth. 
He recognizes a Great Spirit ; he believes in immortality ; he has 
a quick intellect; he is a clear thinker; he is brave and fearless, 
and, until betrayed, he is true to his plighted faith ; he has a pas- 
sionate love for his children, and counts it joy to die for his peo- 
ple. Our most terrible wars have been with the noblest types of 


the Indians, and with men who had been the white man's fnenaT 
Nicolet said the Sioux were the finest type of wild men he had 
ever seen. Old traders say that it used to be the boast of the 
Sioux that they had never taken the life of a white man. Lewis 
and Clarke, Governor Stevens, and Colonel Steptoe bore testimony 
to the devoted friendship of the Nez Percys for the white man. 
Colonel Boone, Colonel Bent, General Harney, and others speak 
in the highest praise of the Cheyennes. The Navahoes were a 
semi-civilized people. 

Our best Mends have suffered more deeply from our neglect 
and violated faith than our most bitter foes. Peaceable Indians 
often say, " You leave us to suffer ; if we killed your people, then 
you would take care of us." 

Our Indian wars have not come wholly from violated faith. In 
time of peace it has been our policy to establish " almshouses " to 
train and educate savage paupers. We have purchased paint, 
beads, scalping -knives, to deck warriors, and have fed them in 
idleness at the agency. Around this agency and along the border 
were gathered influences to degrade the savage, and sink him to 
a depth his fathers had never known. It has only needed a real 
or a fancied wrong to have this pauperized savagery break out in 
deeds of blood. Under President Grant a new departure was 
taken. The peace policy was little more than a name. No 
change was made in the Indian system ; no rights of property 
were given; no laws were passed to protect the Indians. The 
President did take the nomination of Indian agents from politi- 
cians, who had made the office a reward for political service. He 
gave the nomination of Indian agents to the executive committees 
of the missionary societies of the different churches. Where these 
Christian bodies established schools and missions, and the Gov- 
ernment cast its influence on the side of labor, it was a success. 
More has been done to civilize the Indians in the past twelve 
years than in any period of our history. The Indian Ring has 
fought the new policy at every step ; and yet, notwithstanding 
our Indian wars, our violated treaties, and our wretched system, 
thousands of Indians, who were poor, degraded savages, are now 
living as Christian, civilized men. There was a time when it 
seemed impossible to secure the attention of the Government to 
any wrongs done to the Indians : it is not so to-day. The Gov- 
ernment does listen to the friends of the Indians, and many of 
the grosser forms of robbery are stopped. No permanent reform 
can be secured until the heart of the people is touched. In 1802 


I visited Washington, to lay before the Administration the causes 
which had desolated our fair State -with the blood of those slain 
by Indian massacre. After pleading in vain, and finding no re- 
dress, Secretary Stanton said to a friend, " What does the Bishop 
want ? If he came here to tell us that our Indian system is a sink 
of iniquity, tell him we all know it. Tell him the United States 
never cures a wrong until the people demand it ; and when the 
hearts of the people are reached the Indian will be saved." In 
this book the reader will find the sad story of a century no, not 
the whole story, but the fragmentary story of isolated tribes. 
The author will have her reward if it shall aid in securing jus- 
tice to a noble and a wronged race. Even with the sad experi- 
ences of the past we have not learned justice. The Cherokees 
and other tribes received the Indian Territory as a compensation 
and atonement for one of the darkest crimes ever committed by 
a Christian nation. That territory was conveyed to them by leg- 
islation as strong as the wit of statesmen could devise. The fa- 
thers who conveyed this territory to the Cherokees are dead. 
Greedy eyes covet the land. The plans are laid to wrest it from 
its rightful owners. If this great iniquity is consummated, these 
Indians declare that all hope in our justice will die out of their 
hearts, and that they will defend their country with their lives. 

The work of reform is a difficult one ; it will cost us time, 
effort, and money ; it will demand the best thoughts of the best 
men in the country. We shall have to regain the confidence of 
our Indian wards by honest dealing and the fulfilment of our 
promises. Now the name of a white man is to the Indians a syn- 
onyme for " liar." Bed Cloud recently paid a visit to the Black 
Hills, and was hospitably entertained by his white friends. In 
bidding them good-bye he expressed the hope that, if they did 
not meet again on earth, they might meet beyond the grave " in 
a land where white men ceased to be liars." 

Dark as the history is, there is a brighter side. ITo missions 
to the heathen have been more blessed than those among the In- 
dians. Thousands, who were once wild, painted savages, finding 
their greatest joy in deeds of war, are now the disciples of the 
'Prince of Peace. There are Indian churches with Indian congre- 
gations, in which Indian clergy are telling the story of God's love 
in Jesus Christ our Saviour. Where once was only heard the med- 
icine-drum and the song of the scalp-dance, there is now the bell 
calling Christians to prayer, and songs of praise and words of 
prayer go up to heaven. The Christian home, though only a 


log-cabin, "has taken the place of the wigwam ; and the poor, de- 
graded Indian woman has been changed to the Christian wife 
and mother. With justice, personal rights, and the protection of 
law, the Gospel will do for our Red brothers what it has done foi 
other races give to them homes, manhood and freedom. 

H. B. WHTPFLE, Bishop of Minnesota. 
NBW YOBK, November Ittfc, 1880. 


THE present number of Indians in the United States doea not 
exceed three hundred thousand, but is possibly as large now as 
when the Europeans began the settlement of the North Ameri- 
can continent. Different tribes then existing have dwindled, and 
some have become extinct ; but there is reason to believe that the 
vast territory now occupied by the United States, if not then a 
howling wilderness, was largely an unpeopled solitude. The 
roaming wild men who met the new discoverers were, however, 
numerous enough to make the Indian problem at the outset a 
serious one, while neither its gravity nor its difficulty yet shows 
signs of diminution. 

The difficulty is not because the Indians are wild and savage 
men, for such men have in the past history of the human race 
been subdued and civilized in unnumbered instances, while the 
changes which in our time have been wrought among the canni- 
bals of the South Sea and the barbarians of South Africa, and 
among the wildest and most savage of the North American In- 
dians themselves, show abundantly that the agencies of civiliza- 
tion ready to our hand are neither wanting nor weak. 

The great difficulty with the Indian problem is not with the 
Indian, but with the Government and people of the United States. 
Instead of a liberal and far-sighted policy looking to the educa- 
tion and civilization and possible citizenship of the Indian tribes, 
we have suffered these people to remain as savages, for whose fut- 
ure we have had no adequate care, and to the consideration of 
whose present state the Government has only been moved when 
pressed by some present danger. We have encroached upon 
their means of subsistence without furnishing them any proper 
return; we have shut thorn up on reservations often notoriously 
unfit for them, or, if fit, we have not hesitated to drive them off for 


our profit, without regard to tlieirs ; wehave treated them sometimes 
as foreign nations, with whom we have had treaties ; sometimes 
as wards, who are entitled to no voice in the management of their 
affairs ; and sometimes as subjects, from whom we have required 
obedience, but to whom we have recognized no obligations. That 
the Government of the United States, which has often plighted its 
faith to the Indian, and has broken it as often, and, while punish- 
ing him for his crimes, has given him no status in the courts ex- 
cept as a criminal, has been sadly derelict in its duty toward him, 
and has reaped the whirlwind only because it has sown the wind, 
is set forth in no exaggerated terms in the following pages, and 
ought to be acknowledged with shame by every American citizen. 

It will be admitted now on every hand that the only solution 
of the Indian problem involves the entire change of these people 
from a savage to a civilized life. They are not likely to be exter- 
minated. Unless we ourselves withdraw from all contact with 
them, and leave them to roam untrammeled over their wilds, or 
until the power of a Christian civilization shall make them con- 
sciously one with us, they will not cease to vex us. 

But how shall they become civilized ? Civilization is in a most 
important sense a gift rather than an acquisition. Men do not 
gain it for themselves, except as stimulated thereto by some in- 
citement from above themselves. The savage does not labor for 
the gratifications of civilized life, since he does not desire these. 
His labors and his desires are both dependent upon some spirit- 
ual gift, which, having kindled him, quickens his desires and calls 
forth his toil. Unless he has some help from without, some light 
and life from above to illumine and inspire him, the savage re- 
mains a savage, and without this all the blandishments of the civ- 
ilization with which he might be brought into contact could no 
more win him into a better state than could all the light and 
warmth of the sun woo a desert into a fruitful field. When Eng- 
lish missionaries went to the Indians in Canada, they took with 
them skilled laborers who should teach the Indians how to labor, 
and who, by providing them at first with comfortable houses, and 
clothing, and food, should awaken their desires and evoke their 
efforts to perpetuate and increase these comforts. But the Indian 
would not work, and preferred his wigwam, and skins, and raw 
flesh, and filth to the cleanliness and conveniences of a civilized 
home; and it was only as Christian influences taught him his in- 
ner need, and how this could be supplied, that he was led to wish 
and work for the improvement of his outer condition and habits 


of life. The same is true everywhere. Civilization does not re- 
produce itself. It must first be kindled, and can then only be 
kept alive by a power genuinely Christian. 

But it is idle to attempt to carry Christian influences to any one 
unless we are Christian. The first step, therefore, toward the de- 
sired transformation of the Indian is a transformed treatment of 
him by ourselves. In sober earnest, our Government needs, first of 
all, to be Christian, and to treat the Indian question as Christian 
principles require. This means at the outset that we should be 
honest, and not talk about maintaining our rights until we are 
willing to fulfil our obligations. It means that we should be kind, 
and quite as eager to give the Indian what is ours as to get what 
is his. It means that we should be wise, and patient, and per- 
severing, abandoning all makeshifts and temporary expedients, and 
setting it before us as our fixed aim to act toward him as a broth- 
er, until he shall act as a brother toward us. There is no use to 
attempt to teach Christian duty to him in words till he has first 
seen it exemplified in our own deeds. 

The true Christian principle of self-forgetful honesty and kind- 
ness, clearly and continuously exhibited, is the first requisite of 
true statesmanship in the treatment of the Indian question. This 
would not require, however, the immediate entrance of the Indian 
upon all the privileges of citizenship and self-direction. Chris- 
tianized though he might be, he would need for a longer or short- 
er time guardianship like a child. A wise care for his own inter- 
ests could not be expected of him at the outset, and the Govern- 
ment should care for him with wise forethought. Obedience to 
the law should be required of him, and the protection of the la^ 
afforded him. The jurisdiction of the courts and the presence of 
the Government should be felt in the Indian Territory and upon 
every Indian reservation as powerfully as in the most enlightened 
portions of the land. The court should go as early as the school, 
if not before, and is itself an educational agency of incalculable 

When the Indian, through wise and Christian treatment, be- 
comes invested with all the rights and duties of citizenship, his 
special tribal relations will become extinct. This will not be 
easily nor rapidly done ; but all our policy should be shaped to- 
ward the gradual loosening of the tribal bond, and the gradual 
absorption of the Indian families among the masses of our people. 
This would involve the bringing to an end of the whole system 
of Indian reservations, and would forbid the continued isolation 


of the Indian Territory. It is not wise statesmanship to create 
impassable barriers between any parts of our country or any por- 
tions of our people. 

Very difficult questions demanding very careful treatment arise 
in reference to just this point. Certain Indian tribes now own cer- 
tain Indian reservations and the Indian Territory, and this right 
of property ought to be most sacredly guarded. But it does not, 
therefore, follow that these Indians, in their present state, ought 
to control the present use of this property. They may need a 
long training before they are wise enough to manage rightfully 
what is nevertheless rightfully their own. This training, to 
which their property might fairly contribute means, should assid- 
uously be given in established schools with required attendance. 

If the results thus indicated shall gradually come to pass, the 
property now owned by the tribes should be ultimately divided 
and held in severalty by the individual members of the tribes. 
Such a division should not be immediately made, and, when 
made, it should be with great care and faithfulness; but the 
Indian himself should, as soon as may be, feel both the incen- 
tives and the restraints which an individual ownership of prop- 
erty is fitted to excite, and the Government, which is his guar- 
dian, having educated him for this ownership, should endow him 
with it. But until the Indian becomes as able as is the average 
white man to manage his property for himself, the Government 
should manage it for him, no matter whether he be willing or un- 
willing to have this done. 

A difficulty arises in the cases of which there are many 
where treaties have been made by the Government of the United 
States with different Indian tribes, wherein the two parties have 
agreed to certain definitely named stipulations. Such treaties 
have proceeded upon the false view false in principle, and equal- 
ly false in fact that an Indian tribe, roaming in the wilderness 
and living by hunting and plunder, is a nation. In order to be a 
nation, there must be a people with a code of laws which they 
practise, and a government which they maintain. No vague sense 
of some unwritten law, to which human nature, in its lowest stages, 
doubtless feels some obligation, and no regulations instinctively 
adopted for common defence, which the rudest people herded to- 
gether will always follow, are enough to constitute a nation. 
These Indian tribes are not a nation, and nothing either in their 
history or their condition could properly invest them with a trea- 
ty-making power. 


And yet when exigencies have seemed to require, we have 
treated them as nations, and have pledged our own national faith 
in solemn covenant with them. It were the baldest truism to 
say that this faith and covenant should be fulfilled. Of course it 
should be fulfilled. It is to our own unspeakable disgrace that 
we have so often failed therein. But it becomes us wisely and 
honestly to inquire whether the spirit of these agreements might 
not be falsified by their letter, and whether, in order to give the 
Indian his real rights, it may not be necessary to set aside preroga- 
tives to which he might technically and formally lay claim. If the 
Indian Territory and the Indian reservations have been given to 
certain tribes as their possession forever, the sacredness of this 
guarantee should not shut our eyes to the sacredness also of the 
real interests of the people in whose behalf the guarantee was 
given. We ought not to lose the substance in our efforts to re- 
tain the shadow ; we ought not to insist upon the summum jus, 
when this would become the aumma irtjuria,* 

Of course the utmost caution is needed in the application of 
such a principle. To admit that a treaty with the Indians may 
be set aside without the consent of the Indians themselves, is to 
open the door again to the same frauds and falsehoods which 
have so darkly branded a " Century of Dishonor." But our great 
trouble has been that we have sought to exact justice from the 
Indian while exhibiting no justice to him; and when we shall 
manifest that all our procedure toward him is in truth and up- 
rightness, we need have no fear but that both his conscience and 
his judgment will in the end approve. 


AMHEBST COIXBGB, December 10, 1880, 


AT.T. the quotations in this book, where the name of the author- 
ity is not cited, are from Official Reports of the "War Department 
or the Department of the Interior. 

The book gives, as its title indicates, only a sketch, and not a 

To write in full the history of any one of these Indian commu- 
nities, of its forced migrations, wars, and miseries, would fill a vol- 
ume by itself. 

The history of the missionary labors of the different churches 
among the Indians would make another volume. It is the one 
bright spot on the dark record. 

All this I have been forced to leave untouched, in strict ad- 
herence to my object, which has been simply to show our causes 
for national shame in the matter of our treatment of the Indians. 
It is a shame which the American nation ought not to lie under, 
for the American people, as a people, are not at heart unjust. 

If there be one thing which they believe in more than any 
other, and mean that every man on this continent shall have, it is 
" fair play." And as soon as they fairly understand how cruelly 
it has been denied to the Indian, they will rise up and demand it 
for him. 





THE question of the honorableness of the United States* 
dealings with the Indians turns largely on a much disputed and 
little understood point. What was the nature of the Indians' 
right to the country in which they were living when the conti- 
nent of North America was discovered? Between the theory 
of some sentimentalists that the ifhdians were the real owners 
of the soil, and the theory of some politicians that they had 
no right of ownership whatever in it, there are innumerable 
grades and confusions of opinion. The only authority on the 
point must be the view and usage as accepted by the great dis- 
covering Powers at the time of discovery, and afterward in 
their disposition of the lands discovered. 

Fortunately, an honest examination of these points leaves no 
doubt on the matter. 

England, France, Spain, little Portugal all quarrelling fierce- 
ly, and fighting with each other for the biggest share in the 
new continent each claiming "sovereignty of the soil" by 
"Hit of priority of discovery all recognized the Indians' 
n ight of occupancy " as a right ; a right alienable in but two 

t ys, either by purchase or by conquest. 

All their discussions as to boundaries, from 1603 down to 



1776, recognized this right and this principle. They reiter- 
ated, firstly, that discoverers had the right of sovereignty a 
right in so far absolute that the discoverer was empowered by 
it not only to take possession of, hut to grant, sell, and con- 
vey lands still occupied by Indians and that for any nation to 
attempt to take possession of, grant, sell, or convey any such 
Indian-occupied lands while said lands were claimed by other 
nations under the right of discovery, was an infringement of 
rights, and just occasion of war ; secondly, that all this grant- 
ing, selling, conveying was to be understood to be " subject to 
the Indians' right of occupancy," which remained to be extin- 
guished either through further purchase or through conquest 
by the grantee or purchasers 

Peters, in his preface to the seventh volume of the " United 
States Statutes at Large," says, " The history of America, from 
its discovery to the present day, proves the universal recogni- 
tion of these principles." 

Each discovering Power might regulate the relations be- 
tween herself and the Indians ; but as to the existence of the 
Indians' " right of occupancy," there was absolute unanimity 
among them. That there should have been unanimity regard- 
ing any one thing between them, is remarkable. It is impos- 
sible for us to realize what a sudden invitation to greed and 
discord lay in this fair, beautiful, unclaimed continent eight 
millions of square miles of land more than twice the size of 
all Europe itself. What a lure to-day would such another new 
continent prove ! The fighting over it would be as fierce now 
as the fighting was then, and the "right of occupancy" of the 
natives would stand small chance of such unanimous rcco<*ni- 


tion as the four Great Powers then justly gave it. 
C Of the fairness of holding that ultimate sovereignty 
longed to the civilized discoverer, as against the savage I 
barian, there is no manner nor ground of doubt. To quos, 
this is feeble sentimentalism. But to affirm and uphold 1 


is not in any wise to overlook the lesser right which remained ; 
as good, of its kind, and to its extent, as was the greater right 
to which, in the just nature of things, it was bound to give 

clt being clear, then, that the Indians' "right of occupancy" 
was a right recognized by all the great discovering Powers, 
acted upon by them in all their dispositions of lands here dis- 
covered, it remains next to inquire whether the United States 
Government, on taking its place among the nations, also recog- 
nized or accepted this Indian " right of occupancy " as an act- 
ual right. Upon this point, also, there is no doubt. / 

" By the treaty which concluded the War of our Revolution, 
Great Britain relinquished all claims not only to the govern- 
ment, but to the proprietary and territorial rights of the Unit- 
ed States whose boundaries were fixed in the second Article. 
By this treaty the powers of the government and the right to 
soil which had previously been in Great Britain passed defi- 
nitely to these States. We had before taken possession of 
them by declaring independence, but neither the declaration of 
independence nor the treaty confirming it could give us more 
than that which we before possessed, or to which Great Britain 
was before entitled. It has never been doubted that either the 
United States or the several States had a clear title to all the 
lands within the boundary-lines described in the treaty, subject 
only to the Indian right of occupancy, and that the exclusive 
right to extinguish that right was vested in that government 
which might constitutionally exercise it."* 

" Subject to the Indian right of occupancy." It is notice- 
able how perpetually this phrase reappears. In their desire to 
define, assert, and enforce the greater right, the " right of sov- 
ereignty," the makers, interpreters, and recorders of law did 
not realize, probably, how clearly and equally they were defin- 

* Peters, United States Statutes at Large, vol. vii. 


ing, asserting, and enforcing the lesser right, the " right of 

Probably they did not so much as dream that a time would 
come when even this lesser right this least of all rights, it 
would seem, which could be claimed by, or conceded to, an 
aboriginal inhabitant of a country, however savage would be 
practically denied to our Indians. But if they had foreseen 
such a time, they could hardly have left more explicit testi- 
mony to meet the exigency. 

"The United States have unequivocally acceded to that 
great and broad rule by which its civilized inhabitants now 
hold this country. They hold and assert in themselves the 
title by which it was acquired. They maintain, as all others 
have maintained, that discovery gave an exclusive right to ex- 
tinguish the Indian title of occupancy, either by purchase or 
conquest, and gave also a right to such a degree of sovereignty 
-as the circumstances of the people would allow them to exercise. 
" The power now possessed by the United States to grant 
lands resided, while we were colonies, in the Crown or its gran- 
tees. The validity of the titles given by either has never been 
questioned in our courts. It has been exercised uniformly over 
territories in possession of the Indians. The existence of this 
power must negative the existence of any right which may 
conflict with and control it. ' An absolute title to lands can- 
not exist at the same time in different persons or in different 
governments. 'An absolute must be an exclusive title, or at 
least a title which excludes all others not compatible witli it. 
All our institutions recognize the absolute title of the Crown, 
subject only to the Indian right of occupancy, and recognize 
the absolute title of the Crown to extinguish the right. This 
is incompatible with an absolute and complete title in the In- 


Certainly. But it is also "incompatible with an absolute 
and perfect title " in the white man ! Here again, in their de- 
sire to define and enforce the greater right, by making it so 
clear that it included the lesser one, they equally define and 
enforce the lesser right as a thing to be included. The word 
" subject " is a strong participle when it is used legally. Pro' 
visions are made in wills, "subject to" a widow's right of 
dower, for instance, and the provisions cannot be carried out 
without the consent of the person to whom they are thus de- 
clared to be "subject." A title which is pronounced to be 
" subject to " anything or anybody cannot be said to be abso- 
lute till that subjection is removed. 

There have been some definitions and limitations by high 
legal authority of the methods in which this Indian "right of 
occupancy " might be extinguished even by conquest. 

" The title by conquest is acquired and maintained by force. 
The conqueror prescribes its limits. Humanity, however, act- 
ing on public opinion, has established as a general rule that the 
conquered shall not be wantonly oppressed, and that their con- 
dition shall remain as eligible as is compatible with the objects 
of the conquest Usually they are incorporated with the vic- 
torious nation, and become subjects or citizens of the govern- 
ment with which they are connected. * * * When this incor- 
poration is practicable* humanity demands, and a wise policy 
requires, that the rights of the conquered to property should 
remain unimpaired ; that the new subjects should be governed 
as equitably as the old. * * * When the conquest is complete, 
and the conquered inhabitants can be blended with the con- 
querors, or safely governed as a distinct people, public opinion, 
which not even the conqueror can disregard, imposes these re- 
straints upon him, and he cannot neglect them without injury 
to his fame, and hazard to his power."* 

* Peters, United States Statutes at Large, voL yii. 


In the sadly famous case of the removal of the Cherokee 
tribe from Georgia, it is recorded as the opinion of our Su- 
preme Court that "the Indians are acknowledged to have an 
unquestionable, and heretofore unquestioned, right to the lands 
they occupy until that right shall be extinguished by a volun- 
tary cession to the Government." * * * " The Indian nations 
have always been considered as distinct independent political 
communities, retaining their original natural rights as the un- 
disputed possessors of the soil, from time immemorial, with the 
single exception of that imposed by irresistible power, which 
excluded them from intercourse with any other European po- 
tentate than the first discoverer of the coast of the particular 
region claimed; and this was a restriction which those Eu- 
ropean potentates imposed on themselves as well as on the 
Indians. ' The veiy term c nation,' so generally applied to 
them, means 'a people distinct from others.' The Constitu- 
tion, by declaring treaties already made, as well as those to bo 
made, to be the supreme law of the land, has adopted and 
sanctioned the previous treaties with the Indian nations, and 
consequently admits their rank among those powers who are 
capable of making treaties. The words 'treaty' and * na- 
tion' are words of our own language, selected in our diplo- 
matic and legislative proceedings by ourselves, having each a 
definite and well understood meaning. We have applied them 
to Indians as we have applied them to other nations of the, 
earth. They are applied to all in the same sense."* 

In another decision of the Supreme Court we find still 
greater emphasis put upon the Indian right of occupancy, by 
stating it as a right, the observance of which was stipulated for 
in treaties between the United States and other nations. 

" When the United States acquired and took possession of 
the Floridas, the treaties which had been made with the Indian 

* Worcester vs. State of Georgia, 6 Peters, 515. 


tribes before the acquisition of the territory by Spain and 
Great Britain remained in force over all the ceded territory, as 
the law which regulated the relations with all the Indians who 
were parties to them, and were binding on the United States 
by the obligation they had assumed by the Louisiana treaty as 
a supreme law of the land. 

" The treaties with Spain and England before the acquisition 
of Florida by the United States, which guaranteed to the Sem- 
inole Indians their lands, according to the right of property 
with which they possessed them, were adopted by the United 
States, who thus became the protectors of all the rights they 
(the Indians) had previously enjoyed, or could of right enjoy, 
under Great Britain or Spain, as individuals or nations, by any 
treaty to which the United States thus became parties in 
1803. * * * 

" The Indian right to the lands as property was not merely 
of possession ; that of alienation was concomitant ; both were 
equally secured, protected, and guaranteed by Great Britain 
and Spain, subject only to ratification and confirmation by the 
license, charter, or deed from the government representing the 
king." * * * 

The laws made it necessary, when the Indians sold their 
lands, to have the deeds presented to the governor for confir- 
mation. The sales by the Indians transferred the kind of right 
which they possessed ; the ratification of the sale by the gov- 
ernor must be regarded as a relinquishment of the title of 
the Crown to the purchaser, and no instance is known of re- 
fusal of permission to sell, or of the rejection of an Indian 

"The colonial charters, a great portion of the individual 
grants by the proprietary and royal governments, and a still 
greater portion by the States of the Union after the Revolu- 

* United States vs. Clark, 9 Peters, 168. 


tion, were made for lands within the Indian hunting-grounds, 
North Carolina and Virginia, to a great extent, paid their of- 
ficers and soldiers of the [Revolutionary War by such grants, 
and extinguished the arrears due the army by similar means. 
It was one of the great resources which sustained the war, not 
only by those States but by other States. The ultimate fee, 
encumbered with the right of occupancy, was in the Crown 
previous to the [Revolution, and in the States afterward, and 
subject to grant. This right of occupancy was protected by 
the political power, and respected by the courts until extin- 
guished." * * * " So the Supreme Court and the State courts 
have uniformly held."* 

President Adams, in his Message of 1828, thus describes the 
policy of the United States toward the Indians at that time : 

"At the establishment of the Federal Government the prin- 
ciple was adopted of considering them as foreign and inde- 
pendent powers, and also as proprietors of lands. As inde- 
pendent powers, we negotiated with them by treaties ; as pro- 
prietors, we purchased of them all the land which we could 
prevail on them to sell ; as brethren of the human race, rude 
and ignorant, we endeavored to bring them to the knowledge 
of religion and letters." 

Kent says : " The European nations which, respectively, es- 
tablished colonies in America, assumed the ultimate dominion 
to be in themselves, and claimed the exclusive right to grant a 
title to the soil, subject only to the Indian right of occupancy. 
The natives were admitted to be the rightful occupants of the 
soil, with a legal as well as just claim to retain possession of 
it, and to use it according to their own discretion, though not 
to dispose of the soil at -their own will, except to the govern- 
ment claiming the right of pre-emption." * * * " The United 
States adopted the same principle; and their exclusive right to 

* Clark vs. Smith, 13 Peters. 


extinguish the Indian title by purchase or conquest, and to 
grant the soil and exercise such a degree of sovereignty as cir- 
cumstances required, has never been judicially questioned." 

Kent also says, after giving the Supreme Court decision in 
the case of Johnson vs. M'Intosh : " The same court has since 
been repeatedly called upon to discuss and decide great ques- 
tions concerning Indian rights and title, and the subject has of 
late become exceedingly grave and momentous, affecting the 
faith and the character, if not the tranquillity and safety, of 
the Government of the United States." 

In Gardner's " Institutes of International Law " the respec- 
tive rights to land of the Indians and the whites are thus 
summed up : " In our Union the aborigines had only a pos- 
sessory title, and in the original thirteen States each owned in 
fee, subject to the Indian right, all ungranted lands within their 
respective limits; and beyond the States the residue of the 
ungranted lands were vested in fee in the United States, sub- 
ject to the Indian possessory right, to the extent of the national 

Dr. Walker, in his "American Law," makes a still briefer 
summary : " The American doctrine on the subject of Indian 
title is briefly this : The Indians have no fee in the lands they 
occupy. The fee is in the Government. They cannot, of 
course, aliene them either to nations or individuals, the ex- 
clusive right of pre-emption being in the Government Yet 
they have a qualified right of occupancy which can only be ex- 
tinguished by treaty, and upon fair compensation; until which 
they are entitled to be protected in their possession." 

"Abbott's Digest," one of the very latest authorities, reiter- 
ates the same principle: "The right of occupancy has been 
recognized in countless ways, among others by many decisions 
of courts and opinions of attorney-generals." 

It being thus established that the Indian's " right of occu- 
pancy" in his lands was a right recognized by all the Great 


Powers discovering this continent, and accepted by them as a 
right necessary to be extinguished either by purchase or con- 
quest, and that the United States, as a nation, has also from 
the beginning recognized, accepted, and acted upon this theory, 
it is next in order to inquire whether the United States has 
dealt honorably or dishonorably by the Indians in this matter 
of their recognized " right of occupancy." 

In regard to the actions of individuals there is rarely much 
room for discussion whether they be honorable or dishonor- 
able, the standard of honor in men's conduct being, among 
the civilized, uniform, well understood, and undisputed. Steal- 
ing, for instance, is everywhere held to be dishonorable, as 
well as impolitic; lying, also, in all its forms; breaking of 
promises and betrayals of trust are scorned even among the 
most ignorant people. But when it comes to the discussion of 
the acts of nations, there seems to be less clearness of concep- 
tion, less uniformity of standard of right and wrong, honor 
and dishonor. It is necessary, therefore, in charging a gov- 
ernment or nation with dishonorable conduct, to show that 
its moral standard ought in nowise to differ from the moral 
standard of an individual ; that what is cowardly, cruel, base 
in a man, is cowardly, cruel, base in a government or nation. 
To do this, it is only needful to look into the history of the 
accepted " Law of Nations," from the days of the Emperor 
Justinian until now. 

The Roman jurisconsults employed as synonymous, says 
Wheaton, u the two expressions, 'jus gentium,' that law which 
is found among all the known nations of the earth, and ' jus 
naturale,' founded on the general nature of mankind ; never- 
theless, of these two forms of the same idea, the first ought to 
be considered as predominant, since it as well as the 'jus civile' 
was a positive law, the origin and development of which must 
be sought for in history." 

Nations heing simply, as Vattel defines them, " societies of 


men united together," it is plain that, if there be such a thing 
as the " law of nature," which men as individuals arc bound to 
obey, that law is also obligatory on the " societies " made up 
of men thus " united." 

Hobbes divides the law of nature into that of man and that 
of States, saying, " The maxims of each of these laws are pre- 
cisely the same ; but as States, once established, assume per- 
sonal properties, that which is termed the natural law when we 
speak of the duties of individuals is called the law of nations 
when applied to whole nations or States." The Emperor Jus- 
tinian said, "The law of nations is common to the whole hu- 
man race." 

Grotius draws the distinction between the law of nature and 
the law of nations thus : " When several persons at different 
times and in various places maintain the same thing as certain, 
such coincidence of sentiment must be attributed to some gen- 
eral cause. Now, in the. questions before us, that cause must 
necessarily be one or the other of these two either a just con- 
sequence drawn from natural principles, or a universal consent ; 
the former discovers to us the law of nature, and the latter the 
law of nations." 

Vattel defines the "necessary law of nations" to be the "ap- 
plication of the law of nature to nations." He says : " It is 
* necessary, 7 because nations are absolutely bound to observe it. 
This law contains the precepts prescribed by the law of nature 
to States, on whom that law is not less obligatory than on indi- 
viduals; since States are composed of men, their resolutions are 
taken by men, and the law of nations is binding on all men, 
under whatever relation they act. This is the law which 
Grotius, and those who follow him, call the Internal Law of 
Nations, on account of its being obligatory on nations in the 
point of conscience." 

Vattel says again : " Nations being composed of men natural- 
ly free and independent, and who before the establishment of 


Powers discovering this continent, and accepted by them as a 
right necessary to be extinguished either by purchase or con- 
quest, and that the United States, as a nation, has also from 
the beginning recognized, accepted, and acted upon this theory, 
it is next in order to inquire whether the United States has 
dealt honorably or dishonorably by the Indians in this matter 
of their recognized " right of occupancy." 

In regard to the actions of individuals there is rarely much 
room for discussion whether they be honorable or dishonor- 
able, the standard of honor in men's conduct being, among 
the civilized, uniform, well understood, and undisputed. Steal- 
ing, for instance, is everywhere held to be dishonorable, as 
well as impolitic; lying, also, in all its forms; breaking of 
promises and betrayals of trust are scorned even among the 
most ignorant people. But when it comes to the discussion of 
the acts of nations, there seems to be less clearness of concep- 
tion, less uniformity of standard of right and wrong, honor 
and dishonor. It is necessary, therefore, in charging a gov- 
ernment or nation with dishonorable conduct, to show that 
its moral standard ought in nowise to differ from the moral 
standard of an individual ; that what is cowardly, cruel, base 
in a man, is cowardly, cruel, base in a government or nation. 
To do this, it is only needful to look into the history of the 
accepted " Law of Nations," from the days of the Emperor 
Justinian until now. 

The Eoman jurisconsults employed as synonymous, says 
Wheaton, "the two expressions, 'jus gentium,' that law which 
is found among all the known nations of the earth, and * jus 
naturale,' founded on the general nature of mankind ; never- 
theless, of these two forms of the same idea, the first ought to 
be considered as predominant, since it as well as the 'jus civile' 
was a positive law, the origin and development of which must 
be sought for in history." 
Nations being simply, as Vattel defines them, " societies of 


men united together," it is plain that, if there be such a thing 
as the " law of nature," which men as individuals are bound to 
obey, that law is also obligatory on the " societies " made up 
of men thus " united." 

Hobbes divides the law of nature into that of man and that 
of States, saying, " The maxims of each of these laws are pre- 
cisely the same ; but as States, once established, assume per- 
sonal properties, that which is termed the natural law when we 
speak of the duties of individuals is called the law of nations 
when applied to whole nations or States." The Emperor Jus- 
tinian said, " The law of nations is common to the whole hu- 
man race." 

Grotius draws the distinction between the law of nature and 
the law of nations thus : " When several persons at different 
times and in various places maintain the same thing as certain, 
such coincidence of sentiment must be attributed to some gen- 
eral cause. Now, in the. questions before us, that cause must 
necessarily be one or the other of these two either a just con- 
sequence drawn from natural principles, or a universal consent ; 
the former discovers to us the law of nature, and the latter the 
law of nations." 

Vattel defines the "necessary law of nations" to be the "ap- 
plication of the law of nature to nations." He says : " It is 
1 necessary,' because nations are absolutely bound to observe it. 
This law contains the precepts prescribed by the law of nature 
to States, on whom that law is not less obligatory than on indi- 
viduals ; since States are composed of men, their resolutions are 
taken by men, and the law of nations is binding on all men, 
under whatever relation they act. This is the law which 
Grotius, and those who follow him, call the Internal Law of 
Nations, on account of its being obligatory on nations in the 
point of conscience." 

Vattel says again: " Nations being composed of men natural- 
ly free and independent, and who before the establishment of 


civil societies lived together in the state of nature, nations or 
sovereign States are to be considered as so many free persons 
jiving together in the state of nature." 

And again : " Since men are naturally equal, and a perfect 
equality prevails in their right and obligations as equally pro- 
ceeding from nature, nations composed of men, and considered 
as so many free persons living together in the state of nature, 
are naturally equal, and inherit from nature the same obliga- 
tions and rights. Power or weakness docs not in this respect 
produce any difference. A dwarf is as much a man as a giant ; 
a small republic no less a sovereign State than the most power- 
ful kingdom." 

In these two last sentences is touched the key-note of the 
true law of nations, as well as of the true law for individuals 
justice. There is among some of the later writers on juris- 
prudence a certain fashion of condescending speech in their 
quotations from Vattel. As years have gone on, and States 
have grown more powerful, and their relations more compli- 
cated by reason of selfishness and riches, less and less has been 
said about the law of nature as a component and unalterable 
part of the law of nations. Fine subtleties of definition, of 
limitation have been attempted. Hundreds of pages are full 
of apparently learned discriminations between the parts of that 
law which are based on the law of nature and the parts which 
are based on the consent and usage of nations. But the two 
cannot be separated No amount of legality of phrase can do 
away with the inalienable truth underlying it. Wheaton and 
President Woolsey to-day say, in effect, the same thing which 
Grotius said in 1615, and Vattel in 1758. 

Says Wheaton: "International law, as understood among 

civilized nations, may be defined as consisting of those rules of 

conduct which reason deduces as consonant to justice from the 

nature of the society existing among independent nations." 

President Woolsey says: "International law, in a wide and 


abstract sense, would embrace those rules of intercourse be- 
tween nations which are deduced from their rights and moral 
claims ; or, in other words, it is the expression of the jural 
and moral relations of States to one another. 

" If international law were not made up of rules for which 
reasons could be given satisfactory to man's intellectual and 
moral nature, if it were not built on principles of right, it 
would be even less of a science than is the code which governs 
the actions of polite society," 

It is evident, therefore, that the one fundamental right, of 
which the "law of nations" is at once the expression and the 
guardian, is the right of every nation to just treatment from 
other nations, the right of even the smallest republic equally 
with " the most powerful kingdom." Just as the one funda- 
mental right, of which civil law is the expression and guardian, 
is the right of each individual to just treatment from every 
other individual : a right indefeasible, inalienable, in nowise 
lessened by weakness or strengthened by power as majestic 
in the person of "the dwarf" as in that of "the giant." 

Of justice, Vattel says : " Justice is the basis of all society, 
the sure bond of all commerce. * * * 

" All nations are under a strict obligation to cultivate justice 
toward each other, to observe it scrupulously and carefully, 
to abstain from anything that may violate it. * * * 

" The right of refusing to submit to injustice, of resisting 
injustice by force if necessary, is part of the law of nature, and 
as such recognized by the law of nations. 

" In vain would Nature give us a right to refuse submitting 
to injustice, in vain would she oblige others to be just in their 
dealings with us, if we could not lawfully make use of force 
when they refused to discharge this duty. The just would lie 
at the mercy of avarice and injustice, and all their rights would 
soon become useless. From the foregoing right arise, as two 
distinct branches, first, the right of a just defence, which be- 


longs to every nation, or the right of making war against who- 
ever attacks her and her rights; and this is the foundation of 
defensive war. Secondly, the right to obtain justice by force, 
if we cannot obtain it otherwise, or to pursue our right by force 
of arms. This is the foundation of offensive TOr." 

Justice is pledged by men to each other by means of prom- 
ises or contracts ; what promises and contracts are between 
men, treaties are between nations. 

President Woolsey says: "A contract is one of the highest 
acts of human free-will : it is the will binding itself in regard 
to the future, and surrendering its right to change a certain 
expressed intention, so that it becomes 3 morally and jurally, a 
wrong to act otherwise. 

" National contracts are even more solemn and sacred than 
private ones, on account of the great interests involved ; of the 
deliberateness with which the obligations are assumed ; of the 
permanence and generality of the obligations, measured by the 
national life, and including thousands of particular cases ; and 
of each nation's calling, under God, to be a teacher of right to 
all, within and without its borders.'* 

Vattel says : " It is a settled point in natural law that he 
who has made a promise to any one has conferred upon him a 
real right to require the thing promised ; and, consequently, 
that the breach of a perfect promise is a violation of another 
person's right, and as evidently an act of injustice as it would 
be to rob a man of his property. * * * 

" There would 110 longer be any security, no longer any com- 
merce between mankind, if they did not think themselves obliged 
to keep faith with each other, and to perform their promises." 
It is evident that the whole weight of the recognised and 
accepted law of nations is thrown on the side of justice be- 
tween nation and nation, and is the recognized and accepted 
standard of the obligation involved in compacts between na- 
tion and nation. 


We must look, then, among the accepted declarations of the 
law of nations for the just and incontrovertible measure of the 
shame of breaking national compacts, and of the wickedness of 
the nations that dare to do it. 

We shall go back to the earliest days of the world, and find 
no dissent from, no qualification of the verdict of the infamy 
of such acts. Livy says of leagues : " Leagues are such agree- 
ments as are made by the command of the supreme power, and 
whereby the whole nation is made liable to the wrath of God 
if they infringe it." 

Grotius opens his "Admonition," in conclusion of the third 
book of his famous " Rights of War and Peace," as follows : 
" t For it is by faith,' saith Cicero, ' that not commonwealths 
only, but that grand society of nations is maintained.' * Take 
away this,' saith Aristotle, 'and all human commerce fails.' 
It is, therefore, an execrable thing to break faith on which so 
many lives depend. 'It is,' saith Seneca, 'the best ornament 
wherewith God hath beautified the rational soul ; the strongest 
support of human society, which ought so much the more in- 
violably to be kept by sovereign princes by how much they 
may sin with greater license and impunity than other men. 
Wherefore take away faith, and men are more fierce and cruel 
than savage beasts, whose rage all men do horribly dread. Jus- 
tice, indeed, in all other of her parts hath something that is 
obscure ; but that whereunto we engage our faith is of itself 
clear and evident ; yea, and to this very end do men pawn 
their faith, that in their negotiations one with another all 
doubts may be taken away, and every scruple removed. How 
much more, then, doth it concern kings to keep their faith in- 
violate, as well for conscience' sake as in regard to their honor 
and reputation, wherein consists the authority of a king- 
dom.' " 

Vattol says : " Treaties are no better than empty words, if 
nations do not consider them as respectable engagements, as 


rules which are to be inviolably observed by sovereigns, aiid 
held sacred throughout the whole earth. 

" The faith of treaties that firm and sincere resolution, that 
invariable constancy in fulfilling our engagements, of which we 
make profession in a treaty is therefore to be held sacred and 
inviolable between the nations of the earth, whose safety and 
repose it secures; and if mankind be not wilfully deficient in 
their duty to themselves, infamy must ever be the portion of 
him who violates his faith. * * * 

" He who violates his treaties, violates at the same time the 
law of nations, for he disregards the faith of treaties, that faith 
which the law of nations declares sacred ; and, so far as de- 
pendent on him, he renders it vain and ineffectual. Doubly 
guilty, he does an injury to his ally, and he does an injury to 
all nations, and inflicts a wound on the great society of man- 
kind. * * * 

"On the observance and execution of treaties," said a re- 
spectable sovereign, " depends all the security which princes 
and States have with respect to each other, and no dependence 
could henceforward be placed in future conventions if the ex- 
isting ones were not to be observed." 

It is sometimes said, by those seeking to defend, or at least 
palliate, the United States Government's repeated disregard of 
its treaties with the Indians, that no Congress can be held re- 
sponsible for the acts of the Congress preceding it, or can bind 
the Congress following it ; or, in other words, that each Con- 
gress may, if it chooses, undo all that has been done by previ- 
ous Congresses. However true this may be of some legislative 
acts, it is clearly not true, according to the principles of inter- 
national law, of treaties. 

On this point Yattel says : " Since public treaties, oven those 
of a personal nature, concluded by a king, or by another sov- 
ereign who is invested with sufficient power, are treaties of 
State, and obligatory on the whole nation, real treaties, which 


were intended to subsist independently of the person who has 
concluded them, arc undoubtedly binding on his successors ; 
and the obligation which such treaties impose on the State 
passes successively to all her rulers as soon as they assume the 
public authority. The case is the same with respect to the 
rights acquired by those treaties. They are acquired for the 
State, and successively pass to her conductors." 

Von Martens says : " Treaties, properly so called, are either 
personal or real. They are personal when their continuation 
in force depends on the person of the sovereign or his family, 
with whom they have been contracted. They are real when 
their duration depends on the State, independently of the per- 
son who contracts. Consequently, all treaties between repub- 
lics must be real. All treaties made for a time specified or 
forever are real. * * * 

"This division is of the greatest importance, because real 
treaties never cease to be obligatory, except in cases where all 
treaties become invalid. Every successor to the sovereignty, in 
virtue of whatever title he may succeed, is obliged to observe 
them without their being renewed at his accession." 

Wheaton says : " They (treaties) continue to bind the State, 
whatever intervening changes may take place in its internal 
constitution or in the persons of its rulers. The State contin- 
ues the same, notwithstanding such change, and consequently 
the treaty relating to national objects remains in force so long 
as the nation exists as an independent State." 

There is no disagreement among authorities on this point. 
It is also said by some, seeking to defend or palliate the Unitr 
ed States Government's continuous violations of its treaties 
with the Indians, that the practice of all nations has been and 
is to abrogate a treaty whenever it saw good reason for doing 
so. This is true ; but the treaties have been done away with 
in one of two ways, either by a mutual and peaceful agreement 
to that effect between the parties who had made it the treaty 


being considered in force until the consent of both parties to 
its abrogation had been given or by a distinct avowal on the 
part of one nation of its intention no longer to abide by it, 
and to take, therefore, its chances of being made war upon in 
consequence. Neither of these courses has been pursued by 
the United States Government in its treaty-breaking with the 

Vattel says, on the dissolution of treaties : " Treaties may be 
dissolved by mutual consent at the free-will of the contracting 

Grotius says : " If either party violate the League, the other 
party is freed; because each Article of the League hath the 
form and virtue of a condition." 

Kent says : " The violation of any one article of a treaty is 
a violation of the whole treaty. * * * 

"It is a principle of universal jurisprudence that a compact 
cannot he rescinded by one party only, if the other party docs 
not consent to rescind it, and does no act to destroy it. * * * 

" To recommence a war by breach of the articles of peace, is 
deemed much more odious than to provoke a war by some 
new demand or aggression; for the latter is simply injustice, 
but in the former case the party is guilty both of perfidy and 

It is also said, with unanswerable irrelevancy, by some who 
seek to defend or palliate the United States Government's con- 
tinuous violation of its treaties with the Indians, that it was, 
in the first place, absurd to make treaties 'with them at all, to 
consider them in any sense as treaty -making powers or na- 
tions. The logic of this assertion, made as a justification for 
the breaking of several hundred treaties, concluded at different 
times during the last hundred years, and broken as fast as 
concluded, seems almost equal to that of the celebrated de- 
fence in the case of the kettle, which was cracked when it was 
lent, whole when returned, and, in fact, was never borrowed at 


all. It would be a waste of words to reason with minds that 
can see in this position any shelter for the United States Gov- 
ernment against the accusation of perfidy in its treaty relations 
with the Indians. 

The statement is undoubtedly a true one, that the Indians, 
having been placed in the anomalous position as tribes, of " do- 
mestic dependent nations," and as individuals, in the still more 
anomalous position of adult " wards," have not legally pos- 
sessed the treaty-making power. Our right to put them, or 
to consider them to be in those anomalous positions, might 
be successfully disputed ; but they, helpless, having accepted 
such positions, did, no doubt, thereby lose their right to be 
treated with as nations. Nevertheless, that is neither here nor 
there now : as soon as our Government was established, it pro- 
ceeded to treat with them as nations by name and designation, 
and with precisely the same forms and ratifications that it used 
in treating with other nations ; and it continued to treat with 
them as nations by name and designation, and with continually 
increasing solemnity of asseveration of good intent and good 
faith, for nearly a century. The robbery, the cruelty which 
wore done under the cloak of this hundred years of treaty- 
making and treaty - breaking, are greater than can be told. 
Neither mountains nor deserts stayed them ; it took two seas 
to set their bounds. 

In 1871, Congress, either ashamed of making treaties only 
to break them, or grudging the time, money, and paper it 
wasted, passed an act to the effect that no Indian tribe should 
hereafter be considered as a foreign nation with whom the 
United States might contract by treaty. There seems to have 
been at the time, in the minds of the men who passed this 
act, a certain shadowy sense of some obligation being involved 
in treaties ; for they added -to the act a proviso that it should 
not be construed as invalidating any treaties already made. 
But this sense of obligation must have been as short-lived as 


shadowy, and could have had no element of shame in it, since 
they forthwith proceeded, unabashed > to negotiate still more 
treaties with Indians, and break them ; for instance, the so- 
called " Brunot Treaty " with the Ute Indians in Colorado, and 
one with the Crow Indians in Montana both made in the 
summer of 1873. They were called at the time "conven- 
tions " or " agreements," and not " treaties ;" but the differ- 
ence is only in name. 

They stated, in a succession of numbered articles, promises 
of payment of moneys, and surrenders and cessions of land, 
by both parties ; were to be ratified by Congress before taking 
effect ; and were understood by the Indians agreeing to them 
to be as binding as if they had been called treaties. The fact 
that no man's sense of justice openly revolted against such 
subterfuges, under the name of agreements, is only to be ex- 
plained by the deterioration of the sense of honor in the na- 
tion. In the days of Grotius there were men who failed to 
see dishonor in a trick if profit came of it, and of such ho 
wrote in words whose truth might sting to-day as, no doubt, 
it stung then : 

" Whereas there are many that think it superfluous to re- 
quire that justice from a free people or their governors which 
they exact daily from private men, the ground of this error is 
this: because these men respect nothing in the law but the 
profit that ariseth from it, which in private persons, being 
single and unable to defend themselves, is plain and evident ; 
but for great cities, that seem to have within themselves all 
things necessary for their own well-being, it doth not so plain- 
ly appear that they have any need of that virtue called jus- 
tice which respects strangers." 

These extracts from unquestioned authorities on internation- 
al law prove that we may hold nations to standards of justice 
and good faith as we hold men ; that tie standards arc the 
same in each case ; and that a nation that steals and lies and 


breaks promises, will no more be respected or unj^g ag flj ege 
a man who steals and lies and breaks promises, JLIJ ? 79 
to go still farther than this, and to show that a nat, c e Qr 
ally guilty of such conduct might properly be dealt ^ycg-fcern 
for by other nations, by nations in nowise suffering on ^hen 
of her bad faith, except as all nations suffer when the iu ^ 
of human society are injured. ^ 

"The interest of human society," says Vattel, " would r( j 
thorize all the other nations to form a confederacy, in order ^ 
humble and chastise the delinquent." * * * When a natio 
"regards no right as sacred, the safety of the human race re 
quires that she should be repressed. To form and support an 
unjust pretension is not only doing an injury to the party 
whose interests are affected by that pretension ; but to despise 
justice in general is doing an injury to all nations." 

The history of the United States Government's repeated vio- 
lations of faith with the Indians thus convicts us, as a nation, 
not only of having outraged the principles of justice, which are 
the basis of international law; and of having laid ourselves 
open to the accusation of both cruelty and perfidy; but of 
having made ourselves liable to all punishments which follow 
upon such sins to arbitrary punishment at the hands of any 
civilized nation who might see fit to call us to account, and to 
that more certain natural punishment which, sooner or later, as 
surely comes from evil-doing as harvests come from sown seed. 

To prove all this it is only necessary to study the history of 
any one of the Indian tribes. I propose to give in the follow- 
ing chapters merely outline sketches of the history of a few of 
them, not entering more into details than is necessary to show 
the repeated broken faith of the United States Government to- 
ward them. A full history of the wrongs they have suffered 
at the hands of tlio authorities, military and civil, and also of 
the citizens of this country, it would take years to write and 
volumes to hold. 


shadowy, and could have had no element of shame in it, since 
they forthwith proceeded, unabashed, to negotiate still more 
treaties with Indians, and break them ; for instance, the so- 
called " Brunot Treaty " with the TJte Indians in Colorado, and 
one with the Crow Indians in Montana both made in the 
summer of 1873. They were called at the time "conven- 
tions" or "agreements," and not "treaties;" but the differ- 
ence is only in name. 

They stated, iii a succession of numbered articles, promises 
of payment of moneys, and surrenders and cessions of land, 
by both parties ; .were to be ratified by Congress before taking 
effect ; and were understood by the Indians agreeing to them 
to be as binding as if they had been called treaties. The fact 
that no man's sense of justice openly revolted against such 
subterfuges, under the name of agreements, is only to be ex- 
plained by the deterioration of the sense of honor in the na- 
tion. In the days of Grotius there were men who failed to 
see dishonor in a tiick if profit came of it, and of such ho 
wrote in words whose truth might sting to-day as, no doubt, 
it stung then : 

"Whereas there are many that think it superfluous to re- 
quire that justice from a free people or their governors which 
they exact daily from private men, the ground of this error is 
this: because these men respect nothing in the law but the 
profit that ariseth from it, which in private persons, being 
single and unable to defend themselves, is plain and evident ; 
but for great cities, that seem to have within themselves all 
things necessary for their own well-being, it doth not so plain- 
ly appear that they have any need of that virtue called jus- 
tice which respects strangers." 

These extracts from unquestioned authorities on internation- 
al law prove that we may hold nations to standards of justice 
and good faith as we hold men ; that the standards are the 
same in each case ; and that a nation that steals and lies and 


breaks promises, will no more be respected or nnj, 

a man who steals and lies and breaks promises. i? nc is a s these, 
to go still farther than this, and to show that a na$ e ^-' " 
ally guilty of such conduct might properly be dealt \v-kenape, or 
for by other nations, by nations in nowise suffering on Western 
of her bad faith, except as all nations suffer when the iu 
of human society are injured. 

"The interest of human society," says Vattel, "would^ of 
thorize all the other nations to form a confederacy, in order or ^ 
humble and chastise the delinquent." * * * When a natio 10 
" regards no right as sacred, the safety of the human race re^ 
quires that she should be repressed. To form and support an 
unjust pretension is not only doing an injury to the party 
whose interests are affected by that pretension ; but to despise 
justice in general is doing an injury to all nations." 

The history of the United States Government's repeated vio- 
lations of faith with the Indians thus convicts us, as a nation, 
not only of having outraged the principles of justice, which are 
the basis of international law; and of having laid ourselves 
opon to the accusation of both cruelty and perfidy ; but of 
having made ourselves liable to all punishments which follow 
upon such sins to arbitrary punishment at the hands of any 
civilized nation who might see fit to call us to account, and to 
that more certain natural punishment which, sooner or later, as 
surely comes from evil-doing as harvests come from sown seed. 

To prove all this it is only necessary to study the history of 
any one of the Indian tribes. I propose to give in the follow- 
ing chapters merely outline sketches of the history of a few of 
them, not entering more into details than is necessary to show 
the repeated broken faith of the United States Government to- 
ward tlicm. A full history of the wrongs they have sufferec 
at the hands of the authorities, military and civil, and also o! 
the citizens of this country, it would take years to write and 
volumes to hold. 


shadowy, and ut one hope of righting this wrong. It lies in 
they forthv- heart and the conscience of the American people, 
treaties wiepte demand, Congress will do. It has been to 
called " B* be it spoken at the demand of part of the people 
one wit" these wrongs have been committed, these treaties bro- 
summpi ese robberies done, by the Government. 
tions'l n g as there remains on our frontier one square mile of 
ence occupied by a weak and helpless owner, there will be a 
r ong and unscrupulous frontiersman ready to seize it, and a 
o'eak and unscrupulous politician, who can be hired for a vote 
x>r for money, to back him. 

The only thing that can stay this is a mighty outspoken 
sentiment and purpose of the great body of the people. Right 
sentiment and right purpose in a Senator here and there, and 
a Representative here and there, are little more than straws 
which make momentary eddies, but do not obstruct the tide. 
The precedents of a century's unhindered and profitable rob- 
bery have mounted up into a very Gibraltar of defence and 
shelter to those who care for nothing but safety and gain. 
That such precedents should be held, and openly avowed as 
standards, is only one more infamy added to the list. Were 
such logic employed in the case of an individual man, how 
quick would all men sec its enormity. Suppose that a man 
had had the misfortune to be born into a family whoso naino 
had been blackened by generations of criminals ; that his father, 
his grandfather, and his great-grandfather before them had 
lived in prisons, and died on scaffolds, should that man say 
in his soul, "Go to! What is the use? I also will commit 
robbery and murder, and get the same gain by it which my 
family must have done?" Or shall he say in his soul, "God 
help me I I will do what may be within the power of one 
man, and the compass of one generation, to atone for the 
wickedness, and to make clean the name of my dishonored 
house 1" 



What an opportunity for the Congress of 1881 
self with a lustre of glory, as the first to cut short ends as these - 
record of cruelties and perjuries ! the first to attef 
deem the name of the United States from the stain Leiia P e or 
tury of dishonor I 




WHEN Hendrik Hudson anchored his ship, the Half Moon, 
off New York Island in 1609, the Dclawarcs stood in great 
numbers on the shore to receive him, exclaiming, in their inno- 
cence, " Behold ! the gods have come to visit us !" 

More than a hundred years later, the traditions of this event 
were still current in the tribe. The aged Moravian missionary, 
Heckewelder, writing in 1818, says : 

"I at one time, in April, 1787, was astonished when I heard 1 
one of their orators, a great chief of the Dclawares, Pachg-nnls- 
chilias by name, go over this ground, recapitulating the most 
extraordinary events which had before happened, and conclud- 
ing in these words : ' I admit that there arc good white men, 
but they bear no proportion to the bad ; the bad must be the 
strongest, for they rule. They do what they please. They en- 
slave those who are not of their color, although created by the 
same Great Spirit who created them. They would make slaves 
of us if they could; but as they cannot do it, they kill us. 
There is no faith to be placed in their words. They are not 
like the Indians, who are only enemies while at war, and are 
friends in peace. They will say to an Indian, " My friend ; 
my brother!" They will take him by the hand, and, at the 
same moment, destroy him. And so you' (he was addressing 
himself to the Christian Indians at Gnadcnhuttcn, Pennsylva- 
nia) ' will also be treated by them before long. Remember thai 


made that old alliance with us; they having lost caste in 
their tribe for having fought on our side. 

"It is agreed," says the final Article of the treaty, "that the 
Delaware chiefs, Kelelamand, or Lieut-colonel Henry, Henque 
Pushccs, or the Big Cat, and Wicocalind, or Captain White 
Eyes, who took up the hatchet for the United States, and their 
families, shall be received into the Delaware Nation in the same 
situation and rank as before the war, and enjoy their due por- 
tions of the lands given to the Wyandotte and Delaware nations 
in this treaty, as fully as if they had not taken part with Amer- 
ica, or as any other person or persons in the said nations." 

This Captain White Eyes had adhered to our cause in spite 
of great opposition from the hostile part of the tribe. At one 
time he was threatened with a violent death if he should dare 
to say one word for the American cause; but by spirited ha- 
rangues he succeeded in keeping the enthusiasm of his own 
party centred around himself, and finally carrying them over to 
the side of the United States. Some of his speeches are on rec- 
ord, and are worthy to be remembered : 

" If you will go out in this war," he said to them at one 
time, when the band were inclined to join the British, " you 
shall not go without me. I have taken peace measures, it is 
true, with the view of saving my tribe from destruction ; but if 
you think me in the wrong, if you give more credit to runaway 
vagabonds than to your own friends to a man, to a warrior, 
to a Delaware if you insist on fighting the Americans go ! 
and I will go with you. And I will not go like the bear-hunt- 
er, who sets his dogs on the animal to be beaten about with his 
paws, while he keeps himself at a safe distance. No ; I will 
lead you on ; I will place myself in the front ; I will fall with 
the first of you ! You can do as you choose ; but as for me, I 
will not survive my nation. I will not live to bewail the mis- 
erable destruction of a brave people, who deserved, as you do, 
a better fate." 


Were there many speeches made by commanders to their 
troops in thoso revolutionary days with which these words do 
not compare favorably ? 

This treaty, by which our faithful ally, Wicocalind, was re- 
instated in his tribal rant, was made at Fort M'Intosli in 
1785. The Wyandottcs, Chippewas, and Ottawas, as well as 
the Delawares, joined in it. They acknowledged themselves 
and all their tribes to be " under the protection of the United 
States, and of no other sovereign whatsoever." The United 
-S4atesGoverninent reserved "the post of Detroit" and an 
outlying, district around it; also, the post at Michilimackinac, 
with a sutrounding district of twelve miles square, and some 
other reserves for trading-posts. 

The Indians' "fends were comprised within lines partly indi- 
cated by the Cuyahoga, Big Miami, and Ohio rivers and their 
branches; it fronted on Lake Erie; and if "any citizen of the 
United States," or "any other person not an Indian," attempt- 
ed "to settle on any of the lands allotted to the Delaware and 
Wyandotte nations in this treaty "the fifth Article of the 
treaty said " the Indians may punish him as they please." 

Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania*, all are largely made 
up of the lands which were by this first treaty given to the 

Five years later, by another treaty at Fort llarmar, the pro- 
visions of this treaty were reiterated, the boundaries somewhat 
changed and more accurately defined. Tho privilege of hunt- 
ing on all the lands reserved to the United States was prom- 
ised to the Indians "without hindcranco or molestation, so long 
as they behaved themselves peaceably;" and "that nothing 
may interrupt the peace and harmony now established between 
the United States and the aforesaid nations," it was promised 
in one of the articles that white men committing offences or 
murders on Indians should be punished in the same way as 
Indians committing such offences. 


The year before this treaty Congress had resolved that " tho 
sum of $20,000, in addition to the $14,000 already appropri- 
ated, be appropriated for defraying the expenses of the treaties 
which have been ordered, or which may be ordered to be held, 
in the present year, with the several Indian tribes in the North- 
ern Department ; and for extinguishing the Indian claims, the 
whole of the said $20,000, together with $6000 of the said 
$14,000, to be applied solely to the purpose of extinguishing 
Indian claims to the lands they have already ceded to the 
United States by obtaining regular conveyances for the same; 
and for extending a purchase beyond the limits hitherto fixed 
by treaty." 

Here is one of the earliest records of the principle and 
method on which the United States Government first began 
its dealings with. Indians. "Regular conveyances," "extin- 
guishing claims" by "extending purchase." These are all 
the strictest of legal terms, and admit of no double interpre- 

The Indians had been much dissatisfied ever since the first 
treaties were made. They claimed that they had been made 
by a few only, representing a part of the tribe; and, in 1786, 
they had held a great council on the banks of the Detroit 
River, and sent a message to Congress, of which the following 
extracts will show the spirit. 

They said : " It is now more than three years since peace 
was made between the King of Great Britain and you ; but 
we, the Indians, were disappointed, finding ourselves not in- 
cluded in that peace according to our expectations, for we 
thought that its conclusion would have promoted a friendship 
between the United States and the Indians, and that we might 
enjoy that happiness that formerly subsisted between us and 
our Elder Brethren. We have received two very agreeable 
messages from the Thirteen United States. We also received 
a message from the king, whose war we were engaged in, de- 


siring us to remain quiet, which we accordingly complied with. 
During this timo of tranquillity we were deliberating the best 
nethod we could to form a lasting reconciliation with the Thir- 
teen United States. * * * We arc still of the same opinion 
as to the means which may tend to reconcile us to each other ; 
and we are sorry to find, although we had the best thoughts 
in our minds during the before-mentioned period, mischief has 
nevertheless happened between you and us. We are still anx- 
ious of putting our plan of accommodation into execution, and 
we shall briefly inform you of the means that seem most prob- 
able to us of effecting a firm and lasting peace and reconcilia- 
tion, the first step toward which should, in our opinion, be 
that all treaties carried on with the United States on our parts 
should be with the general will of the whole confederacy, and 
carried on in the most open manner, without any restraint on 
either side ; and especially as landed matters are often the sub- 
ject of our councils with you a matter of the greatest impor- 
tance and of general concern to us in this case we hold it 
indisputably necessary that any cession of our lands should be 
made in the most public manner, and by the united voice of 
the confederacy, holding all partial treaties as void and of no 
effect. * * * We say, let us meet half-way, and let us pur- 
sue such steps as become upright and honest men. AVe beg 
that you will prevent your surveyors and other people from 
coming upon our side of the Ohio River." 

These are touching words, when we remember that only 
the year before the United States had expressly told these In- 
dians that if any white citizens attempted to settle on their 
lands they might " punish them as they pleased." 

" Wo have told you before we wished to pursue just steps, 
and we are determined they shall appear just and reasonable in 
the eyes of the world. This is the determination of all tho 
chiefs of our confederacy now assembled Lore, notwithstanding 
the accidents that have happened in our villages, oveu when in 


council, where several innocent chiefs were lulled when abso- 
lutely engaged in promoting a peace with yon, the Thirteen 
United States." 

The next year the President instructed the governor of the 
territory northwest of the Ohio to " examine carefully into the 
real temper of the Indian tribes " in his department, and says : 
" The treaties which have been made may be examined, but 
must not be departed from, unless a change of boundary ben- 
eficial to the United States can be obtained." He says also : 
"You will not neglect any opportunity that may offer of extin- 
guishing the Indian rights to the westward, as far as the Mis- 

Beyond that river even the wildest dream of greed did not 
at that time look. 

The President adds, moreover : " You may stipulate that any 
white persons going over the said boundaries without a license 
from the proper officers of the United States may be treated 
in such manner as the Indians may see fit." 

I have not yet seen, in any accounts of the Indian hostilities 
on the North-western frontier during this period, any reference 
to those repeated permissions given by the United States to 
the Indians, to defend their lands as they saw fit. Probably 
the greater number of the pioneer settlers were as ignorant of 
these provisions in Indian treaties as are the greater number of 
American citizens to-day, who are honestly unaware and being 
unaware, are therefore incredulous that the Indians had either 
provocation or right to kill intruders on their lands. 

At this time separate treaties were made with the Six Na- 
tions, and the governor says that these treaties were made sep- 
arately because of the jealousy and hostility existing between 
them and the Dclawares, Wyandottes, etc., which he is " not 
willing to lessen," because it weakens their power. " Indeed," 
ho frankly adds, "it would not be very difficult, if circum- 
stances required it, to set them at deadly variance." 


Thus early in our history was the ingenious plan evolved of 
first maddening the Indians into war, and then falling upon 
them with exterminating punishment. The gentleman who 
has left on the official records of his country his claim to the 
first suggestion and recommendation of this method is "Arthur 
Si Glair, governor of the territory of the United States north- 
west of the Ohio River, and commissioner plenipotentiary of 
the United States of America for removing all causes of con- 
troversy, regulating trade, and settling boundaries with the In- 
dian nations in the Northern Department." 

Under all these conditions, it is not a matter of wonder that 
the frontier was a scene of perpetual devastation and blood- 
shed ; and that, year by year, there grew stronger in the minds 
of the whites a terror and hatred of Indians ; and in the minds 
of the Indians a stronger and stronger distrust and hatred of 
the whites. 

The Delawares were, through the earlier part of these trou- 
bled times, friendly. lu 1791 we find the Secretary of War 
recommending the commissioners sent to treat with the hostile 
Miamis and Wabash Indians to stop by the way with the 
friendly Delawares, and take some of their leading chiefs with 
them as allies. He says, "those tribes arc our friends," ami, 
as far as is known, "the treaties have been well observed by 

But in 1*792 we find them mentioned among the hostile 
tribes to whom was sent a message from the United St;te 
Government, containing the following extraordinary para- 
graphs : 

"Brethren: The President of the United States ontrrtnins 
the opinion that the war which exists is an error and mist:ilco 
on your parts. That you bclievo the United Shitt* want, to 
deprive you of your lands, and drive you out of the (Country. 
Be assured that this is not so; on the contrary, Dial wo should 
be greatly gratified with the opportunity of hnjourting to yuu 


all the blessings of civilized life; of teaching you to cultivate 
the earth, and raise corn ; to raise oxen, sheep, and other do^ 
mestic animals ; to build comfortable houses ; and to educate 
your children so as ever to dwell upon the land. 

" Consult, therefore, upon the great object of peace ; call in 
your parties, and enjoin a cessation of all further depredations; 
and as many of the principal chiefs as shall choose repair to 
Philadelphia, the seat of the Great Government, and there 
make a peace founded on the principles of justice and human- 
ity. Remember that no additional lands will be required of 
you, or any other tribe, to those that have been ceded by former 

It was in this same year, also, that General Putnam said to 
them, in a speech at Post Vincennes : " The United States 
don't mean to wrong you out of your lands. They don't 
want to take away your lands by force. They want to do you 
justice." And the venerable missionary, Heckewelder, who had 
journeyed all the way from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to try to 
help bring about peace, said to them, " The great chief who 
has spoken to you is a good man. He loves you, and will al- 
ways speak the truth to you. I wish you to listen to his words, 
and do as he desires you." 

In 1793 a great council was held, to which came the chiefs 
and headmen of the Delawares, and of twelve other tribes, 
to meet commissioners of the United States, for one last ef- 
fort to settle the vexed boundary question. The records of 
this council arc profoundly touching. The Indians reitera- 
ted over aud over the provisions of the old treaties which 
had established the Ohio River as one of their boundaries. 
Their words wore not the words of ignorant barbarians, clum- 
sily and doggedly holding to a point ; they were the words of 
clear-headed, statesman-like rulers, insisting on the rights of 
their nations. As the days went on, and it became more and 
more clear that the United States commissioners would not 


agree to the establishment of the boundary for which the In- 
dians contended, the speeches of the chiefs grow sadder and 
sadder. Finally, in desperation, as a last hope, they propose to 
the commissioners that all the money which the United States 
offers to pay to them for their lands shall be given to the white 
settlers to induce them to move away. They say : 

" Money to us is of no value, and to most of us unknown ; 
and as no consideration whatever can induce us to sell the lands 
on which we get sustenance for our -women and children, we 
hope we may be allowed to point out a mode by which your 
settlers may he easily removed, and peace thereby obtained. 

" We know that these settlers are poor, or they would never 
have ventured to live in a country which has been in continual 
trouble ever since they crossed the Ohio. Divide, therefore, 
this large sum of money which you have offered us among 
these people ; give to each, also, a proportion of what you say 
you would give to us annually, over and above this very large 
sum of money, and we are persuaded they would most readily 
accept of it in lieu of the lands you sold them. If you add, 
also, the great sums you must expend in raising and paying 
armies with a view to force us to yield you our country, you 
will certainly have more than sufficient for the purpose of re- 
paying these settlers for all their labor and their improve- 

"You have talked to us about concessions. It appears 
strange that you should expect any from us, who have only 
been defending our just rights against your invasions. We 
want peace. Restore to us our country, and we shall be ene- 
mies no longer. 

" * * * We desire you to consider, brothers, that our only 
demand is the peaceable possession of a small part of our once 
great country. Look back and review the lands from whence 
we have been driven to this spot. We can retreat no farther, 
because the country behind hardly affords food for its present 


inhabitants, and we have therefore resolved to leave our bones 
in this small space to which we are now confined." 

The commissioners replied that to make the Ohio River the 
boundary was now impossible; that they sincerely regretted 
that peace could not be made ; but, " knowing the upright and 
liberal views of the United States," they trust that "impartial 
judges will not attribute the continuance of the war to them." 

Notice was sent to the governor that the Indians " refused 
to make peace ;" and General Anthony Wayne, a few weeks 
later, wrote to the Secretary of War, " The safety of the West- 
ern frontiers, the reputation of the legion, the dignity and in- 
terest of the nation all forbid a retrograde manosuvre, or giv- 
ing up one inch of ground we now possess, till the enemy are 
compelled to sue for peace." 

The history of the campaigns that followed is to be found in 
many volumes treating of the pioneer life of Ohio and other 
North-western States. One letter of General Wayne's to the 
Secretary of War, in August, 1794, contains a paragraph which 
is interesting, as showing the habits and method of life of the 
people whom we at this time, by force of arms, drove out 
from their homos homes which we had only a few years be- 
fore solemnly guaranteed to them, even giving them permission 
to punish any white intruders there as they saw fit. By a 
feint of approaching Grand Glaize through the Miami villages, 
General Wayne surprised the settlement, and the Indians, be- 
ing warned by a deserter, had barely time to flee for their 
lives. What General Wayne had intended to do may be in- 
ferred from this sentence in his letter: "I have good grounds 
to conclude that the defection of this villain prevented the 
enemy from receiving a fatal blow at tliis place when least 

Ilowcvcr, he consoles himself by the fact that he has 
" gained possession of the grand emporium of the hostile In- 
dians of the West without loss of blood. The very extensive 


and highly cultivated fields and gardens show the work of 
many hands. The margins of those beautiful rivers the Mi- 
amis, of the Lake, and Au G-laize appear like one continued 
village for a number of miles, both above and below this place; 
nor have I ever before beheld such immense fields of corn in 
any part of America, from Canada to Florida." 

All these villages were burnt, and all these cornfields de- 
stroyed ; the Indians were followed up and defeated in a sharp 
fight. The British agents did their best to keep them hostile, 
and no inconsiderable aid was furnished to them from Canada. 
But after a winter of suffering and hunger, and great vacilla- 
tions of purpose, they finally decided to yield to the inevitable, 
and in the summer of 1795 they are to be found once more 
assembled in council, for the purpose of making a treaty ; once 
more to be told by the representatives of the United States 
Government that " the heart of General Washington, the Great 
Ctiief of America, wishes for nothing so much as peace and 
brotherly love ;" that " such is the justice and liberality of the 
United States," that they will now a third time pay for lands; 
and that they are " acting the part of a tender father to them 
and their children in thus providing for them not only at pres- 
ent, but forever." 

Eleven hundred and thirty Indians (eleven tribes, besides 
the Delawares, being represented) were parties to this treaty. 
By this treaty nearly two-thirds of the present State of Ohio 
were ceded to the United States ; and, in consideration of these 
" cessions and relinquishments, and to manifest the liberality 
of the United States as the great means of rendering this peace 
strong and perpetual," the United States relinquished all claims 
" to all other Indian lands northward of the River Ohio, east- 
ward of the Mississippi, and westward and southward of tho 
Great Lakes and the waters uniting them, according to the 
boundary line agreed upon by the United States and the King 
of Great Britain, in the treaty of peace made between them 


in the year 1783," with the exception of four tracts of land. 
But it was stated to the Indians that these reservations were 
not made "to annoy or impose the smallest degree of re- 
straint on them in the quiet enjoyment and full possession 
of their lands," but simply to " connect the settlements of the 
people of the United States," and " to prove convenient and 
advantageous to the different tribes of Indians residing and 
hunting in their vicinity." 

The fifth Article of the treaty is : " To prevent any misun- 
derstanding about the Indian lands now relinquished by the 
United States, it is explicitly declared that the meaning of that 
relinquishment is this : that the Indian tribes who have a right 
to those lands are quietly to enjoy them hunting, planting, 
and dwelling thereon 50 long as they please without any moles- 
tation from the United States ; but when those tribes, or any 
of them, shall be disposed to sell their lands, or any part of 
them, they are to be sold only to the United States ; and un- 
til such sale the United States will protect all the said Indian 
tribes in the quiet enjoyment of their lands against all citizens 
of the United States, and against all other white persons who 
intrude on the same." 

The sixth Article reiterates the old pledge, proved by the 
last three years to be so worthless that, " If any citizen of 
the United States, or any other white person or persons, shall 
presume to settle upon the lands now relinquished by the 
United States, such citizen or other person shall be out of 
the protection of the United States; and the Indian tribe 
on whose land the settlement may be made may drive off the 
settler, or punish him in such manner as they shall think fit." 

The seventh Article gives the Indians the liberty " to hunt 
within the territory and lands which they have now ceded to 
tho United States, without hinderance or molestation, so long 
as they demean themselves peaceably." 

The United States agreed to pay to the Indians twenty 


thousand dollars' worth of goods at once ; and " henceforward, 
every year, forever, useful goods to the value of nine thousand 
five hundred dollars," Peace was declared to be "established" 
and "perpetual." 

General Wayne told the Indians that they might believe 
him, for he had never, "in a public capacity, told a lie;" and 
one of the Indians said, with much more dignity, "The Great 
Spirit above hears us, and I trust we shall not endeavor to de- 
ceive each other." 

In 1813, by a treaty at Vincennes, the bounds of the reser- 
vation of the Post of St. Vincennes were defined, and the In- 
dians, " as a mark of their regard and attachment to the Unit- 
ed States, relinquished to the United States the great salt 
spring on the Saline Creek." 

In less than a year we made still another treaty with them 
for the extinguishment of their title to a tract of land between 
the Ohio and the Wabash rivers (which they sold to us for a 
ten years' annuity of three hundred dollars, which was to be 
" exclusively appropriated to ameliorating their condition and 
promoting their civilization ") ; and in one year more still an- 
other treaty, in which a still further cession of land was made 
for a permanent annuity of one thousand dollars. 

In August of this year General Harrison writes to the Secre- 
tary of War that there are great dissensions between the Dela- 
wares and Miamis in regard to some of the ceded lands, the 
Miamis claiming that they had never consented to give them 
up. General Harrison observes the most exact neutrality in 
this matter, but says, "A knowledge of tSe value of land is fast 
gaining ground among the Indians," and negotiations are be- 
coming in consequence much more difficult. In the course of 
this controversy, " one of the chiefs has said that he knew a 
great part of the land was worth six dollars an acre." 

It is only ten years since one of the chiefs of these same 
tribes had said, " Money is to us of no value." However, they 


must be yet very far from having reached any true estimate of 
real values, as General Harrison adds: "From the best calcula- 
tion I have been able to make, the tract now ceded contains 
at least two millions of acres, and embraces some of the finest 
lands in the Western country." 

Cheap at one thousand dollars a year ! even with the negro 
man thrown in, which General Harrison tells the Secretary he 
has ordered Captain Wells to purchase, and present to the 
chief, The Turtle, and to draw on the United States Treasury 
for the amount paid for him. 

Four years later (1809) General Harrison is instructed by 
the President " to take advantage of the most favorable mo- 
ment for extinguishing the Indian title to the lands lying east 
of the Wabash, and adjoining south ;" and the title was extin- 
guished by the treaty of Fort Wayne a little more money 
paid, and a great deal of land given up. 

In 1814 we made a treaty, simply of peace and friendship, 
with the Delawares and several other tribes : they agreeing to 
fight faithfully on our side against the English, and we agree- 
ing to "confirm and establish all the boundaries" as they had 
existed before the war. 

In 1817 it was deemed advisable to make an effort to "ex- 
tinguish the Indian title to all the lands claimed by them with- 
in the limits of the State of Ohio. Two commissioners were 
appointed, with great discretionary powers ; and a treaty was 
concluded early in the autumn, by which there was ceded to 
the United States nearly all the land to which the Indians had 
claim in Ohio, a part of Indiana, and a part of Michigan. 
This treaty was said by the Secretary of War to be "the 
most important of any hitherto made with the Indians." 
" The extent of the cession far exceeded " his most sanguine 
expectations, and he had the honesty to admit that " there can 
be no real or well-founded objection to the amount of the com' 
pensation given for it, except that it is not an adequate one." 


The commissioners who negotiated the treaty were appre- 
hensive that they would be accused of having made too liberal 
terms with the Indians, and in their report to the department 
they enumerate apologetically the reasons which made it im- 
possible for them to get the land cheaper. Mr. Cass says of 
the terms : " Under any circumstances, they will fall infinitely 
short of the pecuniary and political value of the country ob- 

The Indians, parties to this treaty, surrendered by it almost 
the last of their hunting-grounds, and would soon be driven to 
depending wholly upon the cultivation of the soil. 

In 1818 the Delawares again ceded land to the United 
States ceded all to which they laid claim in the State of In- 
diana and the United States promised to provide for them " a 
country to reside in on the west side of the Mississippi," and 
" to guarantee to them the peaceable possession " of the same. 
They were to have four thousand dollars a year in addition to 
all the sums promised by previous treaties, and they were to be 
allowed to remain three years longer by sufferance in their 
present homes. The Government also agreed to pay them for 
their improvements on their lands, to give them a hundred and 
twenty horses, and a " sufficient number of pirogues to aid in 
transporting them to the west side of the Mississippi;" also 
provisions for the journey. 

In 1829 a supplementary Article was added to this treaty. 
The United States Government began to show traces of com- 
punction and pity. The Article says, " Whereas the Delaware 
Nation are now willing to remove," it is agreed upon that the 
country in the fork of the Kansas and Missouri rivers, select- 
ed for their home, " shall be conveyed and forever secured by 
the United States to the said Delaware Nation, as their per- 
manent residence ; and the United States hereby pledges tiie 
faith of the Government to guarantee to the said Delaware Na- 
tion, forever, the quiet and peaceable and undisturbed enjoy- 


ment of the same against the claims and assaults of all and ev- 
ery other people whatever." 

An additional permanent annuity of one thousand dollars is 
promised; forty horses, "and the use of six wagons and ox- 
teams to assist in removing heavy articles," provisions for the 
journey, and one year's subsistence after they reach their new 
home; also the erection of a grist and saw mill within two 

In 1833 the Secretary of War congratulated the country on 
the fact that " the country north of the Ohio, east of the Mis- 
sissippi, including the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and the 
Territory of Michigan as far as the Fox and Wisconsin rivers," 
has been practically " cleared of the embarrassments of Indian 
relations," as there are not more than five thousand Indians, all 
told, left in this whole region. 

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the same year says 
that it is " grateful to notice " how much the Indians' condition 
is " ameliorated under the policy of removal." He says that 
they, " protected by the strong arm of the Government, and 
dwelling on lands distinctly and permanently established as 
their own, enjoying a delightful climate and a fertile soil, turn 
their attention to the cultivation of the earth, and abandon the 
chase for the surer supply of domestic animals." 

This commissioner apparently does not remember, perhaps 
never read, the records of the great fields of corn which the 
Dolawares had on the Miami River in 1795, and how they re- 
turned twice that summer and replanted them, after General 
Wayne had cut down and burnt the young crops. They had 
"turned their attention to the cultivation of the soil" forty 
years ago, and that was what came of it. We shall see how 
ranch better worth while it may be for them to plant corn in 
their new " permanent home," than it was in their last one. 

The printed records of Indian Affairs for the first forty 
years of this century are meagre and unsatisfactory. Had the 


practice prevailed then, as at the present time, of printing full 
annual reports for the different tribes, it would be possible to 
know much which is now forever locked up in the traditions 
and the memories of the Indians themselves. For ten years 
after the making of this last quoted treaty, there is little of- 
ficial mention of the Delawares by name, beyond the mention 
in the fiscal reports of the sums paid to them as annuities and 
for education. In 1833 the commissioner says, " The agent for 
the Delawares and Shawnees states that he was shown cloth 
that was spun and wove, and shirts and other clothing made 
by the Indian girls." 

In 1838 the Delawares are reported as cultivating one thou- 
sand five hundred acres of land in grain and vegetables, and 
raising a great many hogs, cattle, and horses. " They are a 
brave, enterprising people," and " at peace with all neighboring 

Parties of them frequently make excursions into the Kocky 
Mountains after beaver, and return with a rich reward, some- 
times as much as one thousand dollars to an individual; but 
their money is soon spent, chiefly for ardent spirits. The 
agent says: "The only hinderance now in the way of the 
Delawares, Shawnees, and Kickapoos is ardent spirits. * * * 
These whiskey traffickers, who seem void of all conscience, 
rob and murder many of these Indians ; I say rob they will 
get them drunk, and then take their horses, guns, or blankets 
off their backs, regardless of how quick they may freeze to 
death; I say they murder if not directly, indirectly, they 
furnish the weapon they make them drunk, and, when drunk, 
they kill their fellow-beings. Some freeze to death when drunk ; 
several drunken Indians have been drowned in the Missouri 
River this season, aiming to cross when drunk." 

In 1844 the chiefs of the Delawares met together, and pre- 
pared a remarkable document, which was forwarded to the 
Secretary of War. In this paper they requested that all tho 


school funds to which they were entitled by treaty provisions 
might be paid to the Indian Manual Labor School near the 
Fort Leavenworth Agency ; might be pledged to that school 
for ten years to come, and that they might therefor be guaran- 
teed the education and subsistence of Delaware children, not 
exceeding fifty at any one time. It came out, in course of this 
negotiation, that two thousand dollars were due them on ar- 
rearages of their school fund. 

The Secretary acceded to this request, but imposed five 
conditions' upon it, of which the fourth seems worth chroni- 
cling, as an indication of the helplessness of the Delawares in 
the matter of the disposition of their own money : " The inter- 
est to be paid annually when it may suit the Treasury ; and 
this ratification to be subject to withdrawal, and the agreement 
itself to rescission, and to be annulled at the pleasure of the 

In 1845 the Delawares "raise a sufficiency to subsist on. 
The women do a large portion of the work on the farms. In 
many families, however, the women do not work on the farm. 
They raise corn, pumpkins, beans, pease, cabbages, potatoes, 
and many kinds of garden vegetables. Some few raise wheat 
and oats. They have lately had built, out of their own means, 
a good saw and grist mill, with two run of stones, one for corn 
and the other for wheat. There is a constant stream, called 
the Stranger, in their country that affords excellent water privi- 
leges. On this stream their mills are built." 

At this time they are waiting with much anxiety to see if 
their " Great Father " will punish the Sioux, who have at two 
different times attacked them, and murdered in all some thirty 
men. "They say they do not wish to offend and disobey 
their Great Father, and before they attempt to revenge them- 
selves they will wait and see if their Great Father will compel 
the Sioux to make reparation." 

In 1848 "almost every family is well supplied with farming- 


stock; and they have raised abundance of corn, some wheat, 
potatoes, oats, and garden vegetables ; have made butter and 
cheese ; and raised fruit, etc., etc. They dwell in good log- 
cabins, and some have extremely neat houses, well furnished. 
They have their outhouses, stables, well-fenced lots, and some 
have good barns." There are seventy scholars in one school 
alone that are taught by the Friends ; and the teacher reports : 
" It is truly astonishing to see the rapidity with which they 
acquire knowledge. The boys work on the farm part of the 
time, and soon learn how to do what they are set at. The 
girls spend a part of their time in doing housework, sewing, 
etc. Many of them do the sewing of their own, and some 
of the clothes of the other children." 

In 1853 the Delawares are recorded as being "among the 
most remarkable of our colonized tribes. By their intrepidity 
and varied enterprise they are distinguished in a high degree. 
Besides being industrious farmers and herdsmen, they hunt 
and trade all over the interior of the continent, carrying theiy 
traffic beyond the Great Salt Lake, and exposing themselves to 
a thousand perils." 

Their agent gives, in his report for this year, a graphic ac- 
count of an incident such as has only too often occurred on 
our frontier. "A small party of Delawares, consisting of a 
man, his squaw, and a lad about eighteen years of age, recent- 
ly returning from the mountains, with the avails and profits of 
a successful hunt and traffic, after they had commenced their 
journey homeward the second day the man sickened and died. 
Before he died he directed his squaw and the young man to 
hasten home with their horses and mules thirteen in number 
their money (four hundred and forty-five dollars), besides 
many other articles of value. After a few days' travel, near 
some of the forts on the Arkansas, they were overtaken by 
four white men, deserters from the United States Arraythree 
on foot, and one riding a mule. The squaw and young man 


loaned each of the men on foot a horse or mule to ride, and 
furnished them with provisions. They all travelled on friend- 
ly together for some six or seven days, till they arrived at 
Cottonwood Creek, thirty-five or forty miles west of Council 
Grove. One evening, while resting, the young man was killed 
by these men ; and the squaw was also supposed by these 
wretches to be dead, having had her throat cut badly and her 
head fractured. The two were then dragged off in the grass, 
supposed to be dead. The men gathered the mules, horses, 
money, guns, blankets all that they supposed of value and 
made for Jackson County, Missouri, where they disposed of the 
stock as best they could, and three of them took steamer for 
St. Louis. The squaw, on the day after, resuscitated ; and soon 
discovering that her companion had been killed, and every- 
thing they possessed had disappeared, she, in her feeble and 
dangerous condition, took the road to Council Grove. The 
fifth day, she says, she was overtaken by a Kaw Indian, and 
brought into Council Grove, where the traders had every atten- 
tion paid her, and sent a runner to the Delaware traders and 
myself, and we soon succeeded in capturing one of the men 
in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, where he confessed the 
whole tragedy the murder, robbing, etc. The three others 
had left for St. Louis. A telegraphic despatch to St. Louis, 
however, had the desired effect, and the three men were taken 
and brought back to Liberty, where, on trial before two jus- 
tices of the peace, they were committed for trial in the District 
Court of the United States for the State of Missouri. As fee- 
ble as the squaw was, I was under the necessity of having her 
taken to Liberty as a witness. She readily recognized and 
pointed out in a large crowd of persons three of the prisoners. 
I have caused four of the recovered mules and horses to be 
turned over to the unfortunate squaw. I expect to recover 
two or three more ; the balance, I am of opinion, will never be 


In the report of the Indian Commissioner for this year 
there is also a paragraph which should not be omitted from 
this sketch: "The present seems to be an appropriate occa- 
sion for calling the attention of Congress to certain treaty stip- 
ulations with various Indian tribes which the Government, for 
a number of years, has failed to execute. In consideration 
of the cession of their lands to the United States " by some 
nine tribes of the Mississippi and Missouri regions, among 
whom were the Delawares "it was stipulated on the part 
of the Government that certain sums should be paid to said 
tribes, amounting in the aggregate to $2,396,600, and that 
the same should be invested in safe and profitable stocks, 
yielding an interest of not less than five per cent, per an- 

" Owing, however, to the embarrassed condition of the Treas- 
ury, it was deemed advisable by Congress, in lieu of making 
the investments, to appropriate from year to year a sum equal 
to the annual interest at five per cent, on the several amounts 
required to be invested. On this amount the Government has 
already paid from its treasury $1,742,240 a sum which is 
now equal to two-thirds of the principal, and will in a few 
years be equal to the whole, if the practice of appropriating 
the interest be continued. As there is no limitation to the pe- 
riod of these payments, such a policy indefinitely continued 
would prove a most costly one to the Government. At the 
end of every twenty years it will have paid from the public 
treasury by way of interest the full amount of the stipulated 
investments. * * * The public finances are in a prosperous con- 
dition. Instead of fiscal embarrassment, there is now a redun- 
dancy of money, and one of the vexed questions of the day is, 
What shall be dono with the surplus in the Treasury ? Con- 
sidering the premises, it seems to be quite clear that so much 
thereof as may be necessary for the purpose should be prompt- 
ly applied to the fulfilment of our treaty obligations." 


In 1854 the influx of white settlers into Kansas was so 
great, it became evident that the Indian reservations there could 
not be kept intact ; and the Delawares made a large cession of 
their lands back to the United States, to be restored to the 
public domain. For this they were to receive ten thousand 
dollars. The sixth Article of this treaty provided for the giv- 
ing of annuities to their chiefs. " The Delawares feel now, as 
heretofore, grateful to their old chiefs for their long and faith- 
ful services. In former treaties, when their means were scanty, 
they provided by small life annuities for the wants of the 
chiefs, some of whom are now receiving them. These chiefs 
are poor, and the Delawares believe it their duty to keep them 
from want in their old age." The sum of ten thousand dollars, 
therefore, was to be paid to their five chiefs two hundred and 
fifty dollars a year each. 

Article second provided that the President should cause the 
land now reserved for their permanent home to be surveyed 
at any time when they desired it, in the same manner as the 
ceded country was being surveyed for the white settlers. 

In the following year their agent writes thus of the results 
which have followed the opening of this large tract to white 
settlers : " The Indians have experienced enough to shake their 
confidence in the laws which govern the white race. The ir- 
ruptions of intruders on their trust lands, their bloody dissen- 
sions among themselves, outbreaks of party, etc., must necessa- 
rily, to these unsophisticated people, have presented our system 
of government in an unfavorable light. 

" Numerous wrongs have been perpetrated on many parts of 
the reserve ; the white men have wasted their most valuable 
timber with an unsparing hand; the trust lands have been 
greatly injured in consequence of the settlements made there- 
on. The Indians have complained, but to no purpose. I have 
found it useless to threaten legal proceedings.* * * The Gov- 
ernment is bound in good faith to protect this people. * * * 


The agricultural portion of this tribe have done well this sea* 
son; abundant crops of corn promise them a supply of food 
for the ensuing year." 

The simple-minded trustingness of these people is astonish- 
ing. Even now they assent to an Article in this treaty which 
says that, as the means arising from the sale of all this land 
they had given up would he more than they could use, the 
remainder should be "from time to time invested by the Pres- 
ident of the United States in safe and profitable stocks ; the 
principal to remain unimpaired, and the interest to be applied 
annually for the civilization, education, and religious culture of 
the Delaware people, and such other objects of a beneficial 
character as in his judgment are proper and necessary," An- 
other Article stipulates that, if any of the Delawares are worth- 
less or idle, the President can withhold their share of the 

Article fifteenth says, gravely, " The primary object of this 
instrument being to advance the interests and welfare of the 
Delaware people, it is agreed that, if it prove insufficient to ef- 
fect these ends from causes which cannot now be foreseen, 
Congress may hereafter make such farther provision, by law 
not inconsistent herewith, as experience may prove to be neces- 
sary to promote the interests, peace, and happiness of the Del- 
aware people." 

In 1860 the United States made its next treaty with the 
Delawares, in which they consented to give the Leavenworth, 
Pawnee, and Western Railroad Company right of way and 
certain lands in their reserve. In 1861 another treaty, in 
which, as the railway company had not paid, and was not able 
to pay, the $286,742 which it had promised to pay the Del- 
awares, the President authorized the Commissioners of Indian 
Affairs to take the bonds of said railroad for that amount, 
and a mortgage on one hundred thousand acres of the land 
which the Indians had sold to the railway company. 


There was another very curious bit of legislation in regard 
to the Delawares this year, viz., an Act of Congress authorizing 
the Secretary of the Treasury to enter on his books $423,990 26 
to the credit of the Delawares; being the amount of bonds 
which the United States had invested for the Delawares in 
State bonds of Missouri, Tennessee, and North Carolina, and 
which had been stolen while in the custody of Jacob Thomp- 
son, late Secretary of the Interior, in whose department they 
had been deposited for safe-keeping. (At the same time there 
were stolen $66,735 belonging to the lowas, and $169,686 75 
belonging to the confederated bands of KaskasMas, Peorias, 
Piankeshaws, and Keas.) 

In this year the Commissioner of Indian Affairs visited the 
Delawares, and reported them well advanced in civilization, in 
possession of comfortable dwellings and farms, with personal 
property averaging one thousand dollars to an individual. 
Many of them were traders, and travelled even to the bounda- 
ries of California. 

In 1862 two regiments of Delawares and Osages enlisted as 
soldiers in an 'expedition to the Indian Territory, under Colonel 
Wcer, who says of them : " The Indian soldiers have far ex- 
ceeded the most sanguine expectations. They bore the brunt 
of the fighting done by the expedition, and, had they been 
properly sustained, would have effectually ended the sway of 
the rebels in the Indian Territory." 

There was during this year a terrible condition of affairs in 
Kansas and the Indian Territory. The Indians were largely on 
the side of the rebels ; yet, as the Indian Commissioner said in 
his report for this year a paragraph which is certainly a spe- 
cies of Irish bull " While the rebelling of a large portion of 
most of the tribes abrogates treaty obligations, and places them 
at our mercy, the very important fact should not be forgotten 
that the Government first wholly failed to keep its treaty stip- 
ulations with them in protecting them," " By withdrawing all 


the troops from the forts in the Indian Territory,' 1 it left them 
" at the mercy of the rehels." That is, we first broke the treaty ; 
and then their subsequent failure to observe it " placed them at 
our mercy !" 

" It is," he says, " a well-known fact that in many instances 
self-preservation compelled them to make the best terms they 
could with the rebels ; and that this is the case has been proved 
by a large number of them joining our army as soon as a suf- 
ficient force had penetrated their country to make it safe for 
them to do so." 

The Delawares enlisted, in 1862, one hundred and seventy 
men in the Union army, and this out of a population of only 
two hundred males between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. 
There was probably no instance in the .whole country of such 
a ratio of volunteers as this. They were reported as being in 
the army " tractable, sober, watchful, and obedient to the com- 
mands of their superiors." They officered their own compa- 
nies, and the use of spirituous liquors was strictly prohibited 
among them a fact the more remarkable, as drunkenness was 
one of their chief vices at home. 

Already, however, the " interests " of the white settlers in 
Kansas were beginning to be clearly in opposition to the in- 
terests of the Indians. " Circumscribed as they arc, and closely 
surrounded by white settlements, I can sec nothing in the future 
for them but destruction," says the commissioner. "I think it 
is for the interest of the Indians that they be removed to some 
other locality as soon as possible." 

" Several of them have from fifty to one hundred acres of 
land in cultivation, with comfortable dwellings, barns, and out- 
houses. * * * All the families are domiciled in houses. * * * 
Their crops of corn will yield largely. Nearly every family 
will have a sufficiency for their own consumption, and many of 
the larger farmers a surplus. * * * There are but few Delaware 
children of the age of twelve or fourteen that cannot read." 


Here is a community of a thousand people, larger than many 
of the farming villages in New England, for instance, " ths aver- 
age of personal property amounting to one thousand dollars ;" 
all living in their own houses, cultivating from fifty to one 
hundred acres of land, nearly all the children in schools, and 
yet it is for their " interest to be moved 1" The last sentence 
of the following paragraph tells the story : 

"When peace is restored to our country, a removal of all 
the Indians in Kansas will certainly be advantageous to them 
as well as to the State." 

In 1863 their agent writes: "Since the question of the re- 
moval of the Indians from Kansas has been agitated, improve- 
ments have been much retarded among the Delawares and 
other Indians in Kansas. 

" I think they are sufficiently prepared to make new treaties 
with the Government, * * * having in view settlement in the 
Southern country of those who elect to emigrate, compensa- 
tion for the homes they relinquish, and a permission to remain 
in their present homes for all who are opposed to leaving 

At this time, " one-half the adult population are in the vol- 
unteer service of the United States. They make the best of . 
soldiers, and arc highly valued by their officers. * * * No State 
in the Union has furnished so many men for our armies, from 
the same ratio of population, as has the Delaware tribe. * * * 
The tribo has 3900 acres of land under cultivation, in corn, 
wheat, oats, and potatoes." (And yet one-half the adult men 
are away !) 

In this year the Delawares, being "sufficiently prepared" to 
make new treaties looking to their removal out of the way of 
the white settlers in Kansas, petitioned the United States Gov- 
ernment to permit them to take eight hundred dollars of their 
annuity funds to pay the expense of sending a delegation of 
their chiefs to the Rocky Mountains, to see if they could find 


there a country which would answer for their new home. The 
commissioner advises that they should not be allowed to go 
there, but to the Indian Territory, of which he says, " The 
geographical situation is such that its occupation by lawless 
whites can be more easily prevented than any other portion 
of the country," " By common consent, this appears to be rec- 
ognized as the Indian country, and I have strong hopes that it 
will eventually prove for them a prosperous and happy home." 

In 1864 their agent writes that the greater part of the per- 
sonal property owned by the Dclawarcs is in stock, " which is 
constantly being preyed upon by the whites, until it has be- 
come so reduced that it is difficult to obtain a good animal in 
the nation." He says he is unable, for the want of proper in- 
formation, to determine what amount they had at the begin- 
ning of the year, but believes, from observation, " that it has 
undergone a depletion to the extent of twenty thousand dol- 
lars in the past year." 

What a picture of a distressed community ! The men away 
at war, old men, women, and children working the farms, and 
twenty thousand dollars of stock stolen from them in one 
year I 

in 1865 a large proportion of those who had enlisted in the 
United States Army were mustered out, and returned home. 
The agent says : " It affords me great pleasure to chronicle the 
continued loyalty of this tribe during the past four years ; and, 
as events tend westward, they evince every disposition to aid 
the Government by contributing their knowledge of the coun- 
try to the officers of the army, and rendering such services 
thereto as they are qualified to perform." 

They " have distinguished themselves in many instances in 
the conflicts on the borders ;" nevertheless, in this same year, 
these discharged soldiers were prohibited by the Government 
from carrying revolvers. When the commissioner instructed 
the agent to disarm them, the agent very properly replied, 


stating the difficulties in the case: "Firstly, what disposition 
is to be made of weapons taken forcibly from these Indians? 
Secondly, many of these Indians are intelligent, only using 
weapons when any well-disposed white person would have 
done so ; and if one class is disarmed, all must be ;" on which 
the commissioner so modified his order as to say that " peace- 
ably disposed Indians " might keep the usual weapons used by 
them in hunting ; but whenever they visited agencies or towns 
they must deliver up all weapons to the agent, who would re- 
ceipt for them, and return them " at proper times." This or- 
der is to be enforced, if possible, by an " appeal to their better 

There are no records of the practical working of this order. 
Very possibly it fell at once, by its own weight, into the al- 
Teady large category of dead-letter laws in regard to Indians. 
It is impossible to imagine an Indian who had served four 
years as an officer in the army (for the Delawares officered 
their own companies) submitting to be disarmed by an agent 
on any day when he might need to go to Atchison on business. 
Probably even that "appeal to his better judgment" which 
the commissioner recommends, would only draw from him a 
very forcible statement to the effect that any man who went 
about in Kansas at that time unarmed was a fool. 

In 1866 the Indian Commissioner reports that "the State 
of Kansas is fast being filled by an energetic population who 
appreciate good land ; and as the Indian reservations were se- 
lected as being the best in the State, but one result can be ex- 
pected to follow. 

"Most of the Indians are anxious to move to the Indian 
country south of Kansas, where white settlers cannot interfere 
with them. 

" Intermingled as the Kansas reservations are with the pub- 
lic lands, and surrounded in most cases by white settlers who 
too often act on the principle that an Indian has no rights 


that a white man is bound to respect, they are iniured and 
annoyed in many ways. Their stock are stolen, their fences 
broken down, their timber destroyed, their young men plied 
with whiskey, their women debauched ; so that, while the un- 
civilized are kept in a worse than savage state, having the 
crimes of civilization forced upon them, those farther advanced, 
and disposed to honest industry, are discouraged beyond en- 

In spite of all this the Delawares raised, in 1866, 72,000 
bushels of grain, 13,000 bushels of potatoes, and owned 5000 
head of cattle. 

In July of this year a treaty was made with them, providing 
for the removal to the Indian Territory of all who should not 
decide to become citizens of Kansas, and the sale of their 
lands. The superintendent of the Fort Leavenworth Agency 
writes at this time : " The running of the Union Pacific Rail- 
road through the Delawares' diminished reserve has been a 
source of grievous annoyance and damage to the Delawares, 
as has also an organization styled the Delaware Lumber Com- 
pany. Out of these two companies grew much complaint and 
investigation, resulting in the appointment of a special agent 
to sell to the railroad the timber required for the construction 
of the road, and no more. The Delaware Lumber Company 
being thus restricted" (i. e., being prevented from helping 
themselves to the Indians' timber), immediately "gave up 
their business, and stopped their mills," but not before they 
had damaged the Indians' property to the amount of twenty- 
eight thousand dollars. 

Twenty thousand dollars' worth of stock and twenty-eight 
thousand dollars' worth of timber having been stolen in two 
years from this little village of farmers, no wonder they are 
" sufficiently prepared to move." Other causes have conspired 
also to render them in haste to be gone. The perpetual expec- 
tation of being obliged to remove had unsettled the whole com- 


munity, and made them indifierent to effort and improvement. 
The return of their young men from the war had also had a 
demoralizing effect. Drunken frays were not uncommon, in 
which deadly weapons were used, spite of the Department's 
regulations for disarming all Indians. 

In July of this year the Delaware chiefs, distressed by this 
state of affairs, drew up for their nation a code of laws which 
compare favorably with the laws of so-called civilized States.* 

In 1867 the Delawares are said to be "very impatient to be 
gone from their reserve, in order to build houses this autumn 
for winter use, and to be fencing fields for the ensuing year at 
their, new reserve." The annuities due them in April of this 
year have not been paid till autumn, and this has delayed their 
movements. Many of the young men are still away, acting as 
scouts and guides in the army. In the course of this year and 
the next the whole tribe moved by detachments to their new 
home. " Those who removed during the winter went to work 
in a laudable manner, and made their improvements many 
building comfortable houses and raising respectable crops" the 
first season. They are said to be now in a fair way to be bet- 
ter off than ever before. They have "given up their tribal or- 
ganization and become Cherokee citizens. They report that 
they are well pleased with their new homes ; and, being sepa- 
rated from the many temptations by which they were sur- 
rounded in their old reservation, are learning to appreciate the 
many benefits to be derived from leading a temperate, indus- 
trious, and consequently a prosperous and happy life." 

In 1869 it is said that, "as soon as the final arrangement 
relative to their funds is perfected, they will lose their nation- 
ality and become identified with the Cherokees." 

In 1870 we find nearly all the Delawares in Indian Territory; 
but it seems that, owing to a carelessly surveyed boundary, some 

* See Appendix, Art. 8. 


three hundred of them had settled down on lands which were 
outside the Cherokee Reservation, and had been assigned by 
the Government to the Osages. This unfortunate three hun- 
dred, therefore, are removed again ; this time to the lands 
of the Peorias, where they ask permission to establish them- 
selves. But in the mean time, as they had made previous ar- 
rangements with the Cherokees, and all their funds . had been 
transferred to the Cherokee Nation, it is thought to be " very 
unfortunate that they should be thus obliged to seek a new 
home ;" and it is said to be " quite desirable that the parties in 
interest should reconcile their unsettled affairs to mutual ad- 

We are too much inclined to read these records carelessly, 
without trying to picture to ourselves the condition of affairs 
which they represent. It has come to be such an accepted 
thing in the history and fate of the Indian that he is to be 
always pushed on, always in advance of what is called the 
march of civilization, that to the average mind statements of 
these repeated removals come with no startling force, and sug- 
gest no vivid picture of details, only a sort of reassertion of an 
abstract general principle. But pausing to consider for a mo- 
ment what such statements actually mean and involve; imag- 
ining such processes applied to some particular town or village 
that we happen to be intimately acquainted with, we can soon 
come to a new realization of the full bearing and import of 
them ; such uprooting, such perplexity, such loss, such confu- 
sion and uncertainty, inflicted once on any community of white 
people anywhere in our land, would be considered quite enough 
to destroy its energies and blight its prospects for years. It 
may very well be questioned whether any of our small com- 
munities would have recovered from such successive shocks, 
changes, and forced migrations, as soon and as well as have 
many of these Indian tribes. It is very certain that the.v would 
not have submitted to them as patiently. 


After this we find in the Official Reports no distinctive men- 
tion of the Dela wares by name, except of a few who had bcjn 
for some time living in the Indian Territory, and were not in- 
cluded in the treaty provisions at the time of the removal from 
Kansas. This little handful eighty-one in number is all that 
now remain to bear the name of that strong and friendly peo- 
ple to whom, a little more than one hundred years ago, we 
promised that they should be our brothers forever, and be en- 
titled to a representation in our Congress. 

This band of Delawares is associated with six other dwin- 
dled remnants of tribes the Caddoes, lonies, Wichitas, To- 
waconies, Wacoes, Keechies, and Comanches on the Wichita 
Agency, in Indian Territory. 

They are all reported as being " peaceable, well disposed," 
and " actively engaged in agricultural pursuits." 

Of the Delawares it is said, in 1878, that they were not able 
to cultivate so much land as they had intended to during that 
year, " on account of loss of stock by horse-thieves." 

Even here, it seems, in that " Indian country south of Kansas, 
where" (as they were told) "white settlers could not interfere 
with them," enemies lie in wait for them, as of old, to rob and 
destroy ; even here the Government is, as before, unable to pro- 
tect them; and in all probability, the tragedies of 1866 and 
1867 will before long be re-enacted with still sadder results. 





OUB first treaty with the Cheyennes was made in 1825, at 
the mouth of the Teton River. It was merely a treaty of am- 
ity and friendship, and acknowledgment on the part of the 
Cheyennes of the "supremacy" of the United States. Two 
years before this, President Monroe reported the "Cbayenes" 
to be " a tribe of three thousand two hundred and fifty souls, 
dwelling and hunting on a river of the same name, a western 
tributary of the Missouri, a little above the Great Bend." Ten 
years later, Catlin, the famous painter of Indians, met a " Shi- 
enne" chief and squaw among the Sioux, and painted their 
portraits. He says, " The Shiennes are a small tribe of about 
three thousand in number, living neighbors to the Sioux on the 
west of them, between the Black Hills and the Rocky Moun- 
tains. There is no finer race of men than these in North Amer- 
ica, and none superior in stature, except the Osagcs : scarcely a 
man in the tribe full grown who is less than six feet in height." 
They are " *he richest in horses of any tribe on the continent ; 
living where d?e greatest herds of wild horses are grazing on 
the prairies, which they catch in great numbers, and sell to the 
Sioux, Mandans, and other tribes, as well as to the fur-traders. 

" These people are the most desperate set of warriors and 
horsemen, having carried on almost unceasing wars with the 
Pawnees and Blackfeet. The chief was clothed in a handsome 
dress of deer-skins, very neatly garnished with broad bands of 
porcupine-quill work down the sleeves of his shirt and leg* 


gings. The woman was comely, and beautifully dressed. Her 
dress of the mountain - sheepskin tastefully ornamented with 
quills and beads, and her hair plaited in large braids that hung 
down on her breast." 

In 1837 the agent for the "Sioux, Cheyennes, and Poncas" 
reports that " all these Indians live exclusively by the chase ;" 
and that seems to be the sum and substance of his information 
about them. He adds, also, that these remote wandering tribes 
have a great fear of the border tribes, and wish to avoid them. 
In 1838 the Cheyennes are reported as carrying on trade at a 
post on the Arkansas River near the Santa Fe road, but still 
depending on the chase. 

In 1842 they are spoken of as a "wandering tribe on the 
Platte ;" and in .the same year, Mr. D. D. Mitchell, Supt. of In- 
dian Affairs, with his head-quarters at St. Louis, writes : " Gen- 
erations will pass away before this territory " [the territory in 
which the wild tribes of the Upper Mississippi were then wan- 
dering] " becomes much more circumscribed ; for if we draw a 
line running north and south, so as to cross the Missouri about 
the mouth of the Vermilion River, we shall designate the limits 
beyond which civilized men are never likely to settle. At this 
point the Creator seems to have said to the tides of emigration 
that are annually rolling toward the West, 'Thus far shalt thou 
go, and no farther.' At all events, if they go beyond this, they 
will never stop on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. The 
utter destitution of timber, the sterility of sandy soil, together 
with the coldness and dryness of the climate, furnish obstacles 
which not even Yankee enterprise is likely to overcome. A 
beneficent Creator seems to have intended this dreary region as 
an asylum for the Indians, when the force of circumstances 
shall have driven them from the last acre of the fertile soil 
which they once possessed. Here no inducements are offered 
to the ever-restless Saxon breed to erect their huts. * * * The 
time may arrive when the whole of the Western Indians will be 


forced to seek a resting-place in this Great American Desert; 
and tliis, in all probability, will form a new era in the history 
of this singular and ill-fated race. They will remain a wander- 
ing, half civilized, though happy people. 'Their flocks and 
herds will cover a thousand hills,' dhd will furnish beef and 
mutton for a portion of the dense population of whites that 
will swarm in the more fertile sections of the great valley of 
the Mississippi." 

This line, recommended by Mr. Mitchell, runs just east of 
Dakota, through the extreme eastern portion of Nebraska, a lit- 
tle to the east of the middle of Kansas, through the middle of 
Indian Territory and Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico. Montana, 
Idaho, Colorado, and New Mexico, all lie west of it. 

The records of the War Department for 1846 contain an in- 
teresting account of a visit made to all the wild tribes of the 
Upper Missouri Agency the Yankton Sioux, the Arrikarees, 
Mandans, Assinaboines, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, and others. In 
reply to the agent's remonstrances with one of the Sioux chiefs 
in regard to their perpetual warring with each other, the chief 
" was very laconic and decided; remarking ' that if their great- 
grandfather desired them to cease to war with their enemies, 
why did he not send each of them a petticoat, and make squaws 
of them at once f " This same chief refused to allow the boys 
of his tribe to go to the Choctaw schools, saying, " They would 
return, as the few did who went to St. Louis, drunkards, or die 
on the way." 

The Cheyennes and other Indians living on the Platte com- 
plained bitterly of the passage of the emigrants through their 
country. They said they ought to be compensated for the 
right of way, and that the emigrants should be restricted by 
law and the presence of a military force from burning the 
grass, and from unnecessary destruction of game. They were 
systematically plundered and demoralized by traders. Whiskey 
was to bo had without difficulty; sugar and coffee were sold 


at one dollar a pound ; ten-cent calico at one dollar a yard ; 
corn at seventy-five cents a gallon, and higher. 

In 1847 a law was passed by Congress forbidding the intro- 
duction of whiskey into the Indian country, and even the par- 
tial enforcement of this law had a most happy effect. Fore- 
most among those to acknowledge the benefits of it were the 
traders themselves, who said that the Indians' demand for sub- 
stantial articles of trade was augmented two hundred per cent.: 
"They enjoy much better health, look much better, and are bet- 
ter people. * * * You now rarely ever hear of a murder com- 
mitted, whereas when whiskey was plenty in that country mur- 
der was a daily occurrence." These Indians themselves were 
said to be " opposed to the introduction of ardent spirits into 
their country ; * * * but, like almost all other Indians, will use 
it if you give it to them, and when under its influence are dan- 
gerous and troublesome." There were at this time nearly forty- 
six thousand of these Tipper Missouri Indians. Five bands of 
them " the Sioux, Cheyennes, Gros Yentres, Mandans, and Pon- 
cas" were " excellent Indians, devotedly attached to the white 
man," living " in peace and friendship with our Government," 
and " entitled to the special favor and good opinion of the De- 
partment for their uniform good conduct and pacific relations." 

In 1848 it was estimated from the returns made by traders 
that the trade of this agency amounted to $400,000. Among 
the items were 25,000 buffalo tongues. In consequence of this 
prosperity on the part of the Indians, there was a partial ces- 
sation of hostilities on the whites; but it was still a perilous 
journey to cross the plains, and in 1849 the necessity for mak- 
ing some sort of treaty stipulations with all these wild tribes 
begins to be forced emphatically upon the attention of the 
United States Government. A safe highway across the conti* 
nent must be opened. It is a noticeable thing, however, that, 
even as late as this in the history of our diplomatic relations 
with the Indian, his right to a certain control as well as occu- 


pancy of the soil was instinctively recognized. The Secretary 
of the Interior, in his report for 1 849, says : " The wild tribes 
of Indians -who have their hunting-grounds in the great prairie 
through which our emigrants to California pass, have, during 
the year, been more than usually pacific. They have suffered 
our people to pass through their country with little interrup- 
tion, though they travelled in great numbers, and consumed on 
their route much grass and game. For these the Indians ex- 
pect compensation, and their claim is just." 

The Secretary, therefore, concurs in the recommendation of 
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs that treaties be negotiated 
with these tribes, stipulating for the right of way through their 
country, and the use of grass and game, paying them therefor 
small annuities in useful articles of merchandise, and agricult- 
ural implements, and instruction. "The right of way" 
" through their country." A great deal is conceded, covered, 
and conveyed by such phrases as these. If they mean any- 
thing, they mean all that the Indians ever claimed. 

The Indians were supposed to be influenced to this peace- 
ableness and good-will more by a hope of rewards and gifts 
than by a wholesome fear of the power of the Q-overnment ; 
and it was proposed to take a delegation of chiefs to Washing- 
ton, " in order that they may acquire some knowledge of our 
greatness and strength, which will make a salutary impression 
on them, and through them on their brethren," and " will tend 
to influence them to continue peaceful relations'." 

It begins to dawn upon the Government's perception that 
peace is cheaper as well as kinder than war. " We never can 
whip them into friendship," says one of the superintendents of 
the Upper Missouri Agency. A treaty " can do no harm, and 
the expense would be less than that of a six months' war. * * * 
Justice as well as policy requires that we should make some re- 
muneration for the damages these Indians sustain in conse- 
quence of the destruction of their game, timber, etc., by thu 
whites passing through their country." 


" Their game, timber," " their country," again. The perpet- 
ual recun'ence of this possessive pronoun, and of such phrases 
as these in all that the Government has said about the Indians, 
and in all that it has said to them, is very significant. 

In 1850 the Indian Commission writes that "it is much 
to be regretted that no appropriation was made at the last ses- 
sion of Congress for negotiating treaties with the wild tribes of 
the plains. These Indians have long held undisputed posses- 
sion of this extensive region; and, regarding it as their own, 
they consider themselves entitled to compensation not only for 
the right of way through their territory, but for the great and 
injurious destruction of game, grass, and timber committed by 
our troops and emigrants." 

The bill providing for the negotiation of these treaties was 
passed unanimously by the Senate, but " the unhappy difficul- 
ties existing on the subject of slavery " delayed it in the House 
until it was too late to be carried into effect. 

All the tribes had been informed of this pending bill, and 
were looking forward to it with great interest and anxiety. In 
1849 they had all expressed themselves as "very anxious to be 
instructed in agriculture and the civilized arts." Already the 
buffalo herds were thinning and disappearing. From time im- 
memorial the buffalo had furnished them food, clothing, and 
shelter ; witb its disappearance, starvation stared them in the 
face, and they knew it. There can be no doubt that at this 
time all the wild tribes of the Upper Missouri region the 
Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes were ready and anxious to es- 
tablish friendly relations with the United States Government, 
and to enter into some arrangement by which some means of 
future subsistence, and some certainty of lands enough to live 
on, could be secured to them. Meantime they hunted with 
greater diligence than ever ; and in this one year alone had sold 
to the fur-traders within the limits of one agency $330,000 
wprth of buffalo -robes, and " furs, peltries, and miscellaneous 


goods to the amount of $60,000. What they thus receive fot 
their furs, robes, etc., would be ample for their support," says 
Hatton, " were it not that they have to give such exorbitant 
prices for what they purchase from the whites." 

In the winter and spring of 1850 all these tribes were visited 
by an agent of the Government. He reported them as "friend- 
ly disposed," but very impatient to come to some understand- 
ing about the right of way. " This is what the Indians want, 
and what they are anxious about ; having been told long since, 
and so often repeated by travellers passing (who care little 
about the consequences of promises so they slip through safely 
and unmolested themselves), that their * Great Father ' would 
soon reward them liberally for the right of way, the destruc- 
tion of timber, game, etc., as well as for any kindness shown 
Americans passing through their country." 

In the summer of 1851 this much desired treaty was made. 
Seven of the prairie and mountain tribes gathered in great 
force at Fort Laramie. The report of this council contains 
some interesting and noticeable points. 

"We were eighteen days encamped together, during which 
time the Indians conducted themselves in a manner that ex- 
cited the admiration and surprise of every one. The different 
tribes, although hereditary enemies, interchanged daily visits, 
both in their individual and national capacities ; smoked and 
feasted together; exchanged presents; adopted each other's 
children, according to their own customs ; and did all that was 
held sacred or solemn in the eyes of these Indians to prove 
the sincerity of their peaceful and friendly intentions, both 
among themselves and with the citizens of the United States 
lawfully residing among them or passing through the country." 

By this treaty the Indians formally conceded to the United 
States the right to establish roads, military or otherwise, 
throughout the Indian country, " so far as they claim or ex- 
ercise ownership over it." 


Thoy agreed " to maintain peaceful relations among them- 
selves, and to abstain from all depredations upon whites pass- 
ing through their country, and to make restitution for any 
damages or loss that a white man shall sustain by the acts of 
their people." 

For all the damages which they had suffered up to that time 
in consequence of the passing of the whites through their coun- 
try, they accepted the presents then received as payment in 

An annuity of $50,000 a year for fifty years to come was 
promised to them. This was the price of the " right of way." 

" Fifty thousand dollars for a limited period of years is a 
small amount to be distributed among at least fifty thousand 
Indians, especially when we consider that we have taken away, 
or are rapidly taking away from them all means of support," 
says one of the makers of this treaty. There would probably 
be no dissent from this opinion. A dollar a year, even assured 
to one for fifty years, seems hardly an adequate compensation 
for the surrender of all other "means of support." 

The report continues : " Viewing the treaty in all its pro- 
visions, I am clearly of opinion that it is the best that could 
have been made for both parties. I am, moreover, of the opin- 
ion that it will be observed and carried out in as good faith on 
the part of the Indians as it will on the part of the United 
States and the white people thereof. There was an earnest 
solemnity and a deep conviction of the necessity of adopting 
some such measures evident in the conduct and manners of 
the Indians throughout the whole council. On leaving for 
their respective homes, and bidding each other adieu, they gave 
the strongest possible evidence of their friendly intentions for 
the future, and the mutual confidence and good faith which 
they had in each other. Invitations were freely given and as 
freely accepted by each of the tribes to interchange visits, talk, 
and smoke together like brothers, upon ground where they had 


never before met except for the purpose of scalping each other. 
This, to my mind, was conclusive evidence of the sincerity of 
the Indians, and nothing but bad management or some un- 
toward misfortune ever can break it." 

The Secretary of the Interior, in his report for this year, 
speaks with satisfaction of the treaties negotiated with Indians 
during the year, and says : " It cannot be denied that most of 
the depredations committed by the Indians on our frontiers 
are the offspring of dire necessity. The advance of our popu- 
lation compels them to relinquish their fertile lands, and seek 
refuge in sterile regions which furnish neither corn nor game : 
impelled by hunger, they seize the horses, mules, and cattle of 
the pioneers, to relieve their wants and satisfy the cravings of 
nature. They are immediately pursued, and, when overtaken, 
severely punished. This creates a feeling of revenge on their 
part, which seeks its gratification in outrages on the persons 
and property of peaceable inhabitants. The whole country 
then becomes excited, and a desolating war, attended with a 
vast sacrifice of blood and treasure, ensues. This, it is believed, 
is a true history of the origin of most of our Indian hostilities. 

"All history admonishes us of the difficulty of civilizing a 
wandering race who live mainly upon game. To tame a sav- 
age you must tie him down to the soil. You must make him 
understand the value of property, and the benefits of its sepa- 
rate ownership. You must appeal to those selfish principles 
implanted by Divine Providence in the nature of man for the 
wisest purposes, and make them minister to civilization and 
refinement. You must encourage the appropriation of lands 
by individuals; attach them to their homes by the ties of in- 
terest; teach them the uses of agriculture and the arts of 
peace ; * * * and they should be taught to look forward to 
the day when they may be elevated to the dignity of American 

"By means like these we shall soon reap our reward in the 


suppression of Indian depredations ; in the diminution of the 
expenses of the Department of War ; in a valuable addition to 
our productive population ; in the increase of our agriculture 
and commerce; and in the proud consciousness that we have 
removed from, our national escutcheon the stain left on it by 
our acknowledged injustice to the Indian race." 

"We find the Cheyennes, therefore, in 1851, pledged to peace 
and good-will toward their Indian neighbors, and to the white 
emigrants pouring through their country. For this conceded 
right of way they are to have a dollar a year apiece, in " goods 
and animals ;" and it is supposed that they will be able to eke 
out this support by hunting buffaloes, which are still not ex- 

In 1852 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs writes: "Not- 
withstanding the mountain and prairie Indians continue to suf- 
fer from the vast number of emigrants who pass through their 
country, destroying their means of support, and scattering dis- 
ease and death among them, yet those who were parties to the 
treaty concluded at Fort Laramie, in, the fall of 1851, have been 
true to their obligations, and have remained at peace among 
themselves and with the whites." 

And the superintendent writes : " Congress made a very lib- 
eral appropriation of $100,000 to make a treaty with the prai- 
rie and mountain tribes. A very satisfactory treaty was made 
with them last fall at Fort Laramie, the conditions of which, 
on their part, have been faithfully observed no depredations 
having been committed during the past season by any of the 
tribes parties to the Fort Laramie treaty. The Senate amended 
the treaty, substituting fifteen instead of fifty years as the pe- 
riod for which they were to have received an annual supply of 
goods, animals, etc., at the discretion of the President. This 
modification of the treaty I think very proper, as the condition 
of these wandering hordes will be entirely changed during the 
next fifteen years. The treaty, however, should have been sent 


back to the Indians for the purpose of obtaining their sanction 
to the modification, as was done in the case of the Sioux treaty 
negotiated by Commissioners Ramsey and Lea. It is hoped 
this oversight "will be corrected as early as practicable next 
spring, otherwise the large amounts already expended will have 
been uselessly wasted, and the Indians far more dissatisfied 
than ever." 

To comment on the bad faith of this action on the part of 
Congress would be a waste of words; but its impolicy is so 
glaring that one's astonishment cannot keep silent its impolicy 
and also its incredible niggardliness. A dollar apiece a year, 
"in goods, animals," etc., those Indians had been promised that 
they should have for fifty years. It must have been patent 
to the meanest intellect that this was little to pay each year 
to any one man from whom we were taking away, as the com- 
missioner said, "his means of support." But, unluckily for the 
Indians, there were fifty thousand of them. It entered into 
some thrifty Congressman's head to multiply fifty by fifty, 
and the aggregate terrified everybody. This was much more 
likely to have been the cause of the amendment than the cause 
assigned by the superintendent, viz., the probable change of 
localities of all the " wandering hordes " in the next fifteen 
years. No doubt it would be troublesome to the last degree 
to distribute fifty thousand dollars, " in goods, animals," etc., to 
fifty thousand Indians wandering over the entire Upper Mis- 
souri region ; but no more troublesome, surely, in the sixteenth 
year than in the fifteenth. The sophistry is too transparent ; 
it does not in the least gloss over the fact that, within the first 
year after the making of our first treaty of any moment with 
these tribes while they to a man, the whole fifty thousand of 
them, kept their faith with us we broke ours with them in 
the meanest of ways robbing them of more than two-thirds 
of the money we had promised to pay. 

All the tribes " promptly " assented to this amendment, how- 


ever ; so says the Annual Report of the Indian Commissioner 
for 1853; and adds that, with a single exception, they have 
maintained friendly relations among themselves, and "mani- 
fested an increasing confidence in and kindness toward the 

Some of them have begun to raise corn, beans, pumpkins, 
etc., but depend chiefly on the hunt for their support. But 
the agent who was sent to distribute to them their annuities, 
and to secure their assent to the amendment to the treaty, 
reports: "The Cheyennes and the Arapahoes, and many of 
the Sioux, are actually in a starving state. They are in abject 
want of food half the year, and their reliance for that scanty 
supply, in the rapid decrease of the buffalo, is fast disappear- 
ing. The travel upon the roads drives them off, or else con- 
fines them to a narrow path during the period of emigration, 
and the different tribes are forced to contend with hostile 
nations in seeking support for their villages. Their women 
are pinched with want, and their children constantly crying 
with hunger. Their arms, moreover, are unfitted to the pur- 
suit of smaller game, and thus the lapse of a few years pre- 
sents only the prospect of a gradual famine." And in spite 
of such suffering, these Indians commit no depredations, and 
show increasing confidence in and kindness toward the whites. 

This agent, who has passed many years among the Indians, 
speaks with great feeling of the sad prospect staring them in 
the face. He says: "But one course remains which promises 
any permanent relief to them, or any lasting benefit to the 
country in which they dwell; that is, simply to make such 
modifications in the ' intercourse ' laws as will invite the resi- 
dence of traders among them, and open the whole Indian Ter- 
ritory for settlement. Trade is the only civilizer of the Indian. 
It has been the precursor of all civilization heretofore, and it 
will be of all hereafter. It teaches the Indian the value of 
other things besides the spoils of the chase, and offers to him 


other pursuits and excitements than those of war. All obstruc- 
tions to its freedom, therefore, only operate injuriously. * * * 
The Indians would soon lose their nomadic character, and 
forget the relations of tribes. * * * And this, while it would 
avoid the cruel necessity of our present policy to wit, extinc- 
tion would make them an element in the population, and 
sharer in the prosperity of the country." He says of the 
" system of removals, and congregating tribes in small parcels 
of territory," that it has " eventuated injuriously on those who 
have been subjected to it. It is the legalized murder of a 
whole nation. It is expensive, vicious, and inhuman, and pro- 
ducing these consequences, and these alone. The custom, being 
judged by its fruits, should not be persisted in." 

It is in the face of such statements, such protests as these, 
that the United States Government has gone steadily on with 
its policy, so called, in regard to the treatment of the Indian. 

In 1854 the report from the Upper Missouri region is still 
of peace and fidelity on the part of all the Indians who joined 
in the Fort Laramie treaty. " Not a single instance of mur- 
der, robbery, or other depredation has been committed by 
them, either on the neighboring tribes parties to the treaty or 
on whites. This is the more remarkable, as before the treaty 
they were foremost in the van of thieves and robbers always 
at war, pillaging whoever they met, and annoying their own 
traders in their own forts." 

In the summer of this year the Cheyennes began to be dis- 
satisfied and impertinent. At a gathering of the northern 
band at Fort Laramie, one of the chiefs demanded that the 
travel over the Platte road should be stopped. He also, if the 
interpreter was to be relied on, said that next year the Govern- 
ment must send them out one thousand white women for 
wives. The Southern Cheyennes had given up to their agent 
some Mexican prisoners whom they had taken in the spring, 
and this act, it was supposed, had seemed to the northern band 


a needless interference on the part of the United States. 
Moreover, it was a matter constantly open to the observation 
of all friendly Indians that the hostiles, who were continually 
plundering and attacking emigrant trains, made, on the whole, 
more profit out of war than they made out of peace. On the 
North Platte road during this year the Pawnees alone had 
stolen several thousands of dollars' worth of goods ; and, in 
addition to this, there was the pressure of public sentiment a 
thing which is as powerful among Indians as among whites. It 
was popular to be on the war-path : the whites were invaders ; 
it was brave and creditable to slay them. Taking all these things 
into account, it was only to be wondered at that these Chey- 
ennes, Arapahoes, and Sioux kept to the provisions of their 
treaty at all. Nevertheless, the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and 
some bands of the Sioux continued peaceable and friendly; 
and in 1855 they begged to be supplied with a farmer to 
teach them how to farm ; also with a blacksmith. Their agent 
strongly recommends that this be done, saying that there is 
not " in the whole Indian country a more favorable location 
for a farm for grazing stock and game than the South Platte* 
In a very short period of time the Arapahoes and Cheyennes 
would become fixed and settled, and a part of each tribe the 
old women and men wou/d become agriculturists ; rude, it is 
true, yet sufficiently skilful to raise corn, potatoes, and beans, 
and dwell in cabins or fixed habitations." 

In the summer of 1856 the Cheyennes were, by a disastrous 
accident, forced into the position of hostiles. A small war* 
band went out to attack the Pawnees ; they were in camp near 
the North Platte road : as the mail-wagon was passing, two of 
the Cheyennes ran toward it to beg tobacco. The mail- car- 
rier, terrified, fired on them, and the Indians fired back, wound- 
ing him ; the chiefs rushed out, stopped the firing, explained 
the matter, and then severely flogged the Indians who had re- 
turned the mail-carrier's fire. But the mischief had been done* 


The mail-carrier reported his having been fired at by a Chey- 
enne Indian, and the next day troops from Fort Keamy at- 
tacked the Indians and killed six of the war-party. The rest 
refused to fight, and ran away, leaving their camp and all it 
contained. The war-party, thoroughly exasperated, attacked 
an emigrant train, killed two men and a child, and took one 
woman captive. The next day they killed her, because she 
could not ride on horseback and keep up with them. Within 
a short time two more small war-parties had left the band, at- 
tacked trains, and killed two men, two women, and a child. 
The chiefs at first could not restrain them, but in September 
they sent a delegation to the agency to ask their agent's assist- 
ance and advice. They said that the war-party was now com- 
pletely under their control, and they wished to know what 
they could do. They implored the Great Father not to be an- 
gry with them, " for they could not control the war-party when 
they saw their friends killed by soldiers after they had thrown 
down their bows and arrows and begged for life." 

In October the agent reported that the Cheyennes were 
"perfectly quiet and peaceable, and entirely within control, 
and obedient to authority." The chiefs had organized a 
sort of police, whose duty was to kill any war - parties that 
might attempt to leave the camp. 

Through the winter the Cheyennes remained in the south 
and south-eastern parts of the agency, and strictly observed the 
conditions which their agent had imposed upon them. In the 
following August, however, a military force under General 
Sumner was sent out "to demand from the tribe the perpetra- 
tors of their late outrages on the whites, and ample security for 
their good conduct." The Cheyennes were reported by Gen- 
eral Sumner as showing no disposition to yield to these de- 
mands ; he therefore attacked them, burnt their village to tho 
ground, and destroyed their winter supplies some fifteen or 
twenty thousand pounds of buffalo meat. 


Of how they lived, and where, during the winter following this 
fight, there is little record. In the next year's reports the Chey 
ennes are said to be very anxious for a new treaty, which will as- 
sign to them a country in which they can dwell safely. "They 
said they had learned a lesson last summer in their fight with 
General Sumner that it was useless to contend with the white 
man, who would soon with his villages occupy the whole prai- 
rie. They wanted peace ; and as the buffalo their principal 
dependence for food and clothing (which even now they were 
compelled to seek many miles from home, where their natural 
enemies, the Pawnee and Osage, roamed), would soon disappeai 
entirely, they hoped their Great Father, the white chief at 
Washington, would listen to them, and give them a home 
where they might be provided for and protected against the 
encroachments of their white brothers, until at least they had 
been taught to cultivate the soil and other arts of civilized life. 
They have often desired ploughs and hoes, and to be taught 
their use." 

The next year's records show the Government itself aware 
that some measures must be taken to provide for these trouble- 
some wild tribes of the prairie: almost more perplexing in 
time of peace than in time of war is the problem of the dis- 
position to be made of them. Agents and superintendents 
alike are pressing on the Government's attention the facts and 
the bearing of the rapid settling of the Indian lands by the 
whites; the precariousness of peaceful relations; the dangers 
of Indian wars. The Indians themselves are deeply anxious 
and disturbed. 

" They have heard that all of the Indian tribes to the east 
ward of them have ceded their lands to the United States, ex< 
cept small reservations ; and hence, by an Indian's reasoning, 
in a few years these tribes will emigrate farther west, and, as 
a matter of necessity, occupy the hunting-grounds of the wild 



When the agent of the Tipper Platte Agency tried to reason 
on this subject with one of the Sioux chiefs, the chief said: 
" When I was a young man, and I am not yet fifty, I travelled 
with my people through the country of the Sac and Fox tribe, 
to the great water Minne Toukah (Mississippi), where I saw 
corn growing, but no white people; continuing eastward, we 
came to the Rock River valley, and saw the Winnebagoes, but 
no white people. We then came to the Fox River valley, and 
thence to the Great Lake (Lake Michigan), where we found a 
few white people in the Pottawattomie country. Thence we 
returned to the Sioux country at the Great Falls of Irara (St 
Anthony), and had a feast of green corn with our relations, who 
resided there. Afterward we visited the pipe -clay quarry in 
the country of the Yankton Sioux, and made a feast to the 
* Great Medicine,' and danced the ' sun dance,' and then return- 
ed to our hunting-grounds on the prairie. And now our Father 
tells us the white man will never settle on our lands, and kill 
our game; but see! the whites cover all of those lands I have 
just described, and also the lands of the Poncas, Omahas, and 
Pawnees. On the South Platte the white people are finding 
gold, and the Cheyennes and Arapahoes have no longer any 
hunting-grounds. Our country has become very small, and be- 
fore our children are grown up we shall have no game." 

In the autumn of this year (1859) an agent was sent to hold 
a council with the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, and tell them of 
the wish of the Government that they should " assume a fixed 
residence, and occupy themselves in agriculture. This they at 
once received with favor, and declared with great unanimity to 
be acceptable to them. They expected and asked that the De- 
partment shall supply them with what is necessary to establish 
themselves permanently. * * * Both those tribes had scrupu- 
lously maintained peaceful relations with the whites, and with 
other Indian tribes, notwithstanding the many causes of irrita- 
tion growing out of the occupation of the gold region, and the 


emigration to it through their hunting -grounds, which are no 
longer reliable as a certain source of food to them." 

It was estimated that during the summer of 1859 over sixty 
thousand emigrants crossed these plains in their central belt. 
The trains of vehicles and cattle were frequent and valuable in 
proportion ; and post lines and private expresses were in con- 
stant motion. 

In 1860 a commissioner was sent out to hold a council with 
the Cheyennes and Arapahoes at Bent's Fort, on the Upper 
Arkansas, and mate a treaty with them. The Arapahoes were 
fully represented ; but there were present only two prominent 
chiefs of the Cheyennes Black Kettle and White 'Antelope. 
(White Antelope was one of the chiefs brutally murdered five 
years later in the Chivington massacre in Colorado.) As it 
was impossible for the rest of the Cheyennes to reach the Fort 
in less than twenty days, and the commissioner could not wait 
so long, Black Kettle and White Antelope wished it to be dis- 
tinctly understood that they pledged only themselves and their 
own bands. 

The commissioner says : " I informed them as to the object 
of my visit, and gave them to understand that their Great 
Father had heard with delight of their peaceful disposition, 
although they were almost in the midst of the hostile tribes. 
They expressed great pleasure on learning that their Great Fa- 
ther had heard of their good conduct, and requested ine to say, 
in return, that they intended in every respect to conform to the 
wishes of the Government. I then presented to them a dia- 
gram of the country assigned them, by their treaty of 1851, as 
their hunting-grounds, which they seemed to understand per- 
fectly, and were enabled without difficulty to give each initial 
point. In fact, they exhibited a degree of intelligence seldom 
to bo found among tribes where no effort has been made to 
civilize them. I stated to them that it was the intention of 
their Great Father to reduce the area of their present reserve 


tion, and that they should settle down and betake themselves 
to agriculture, and eventually abandon the chase as a means of 
support. They informed me that such was their wish; and 
that they had been aware for some time that they would be 
compelled to do so : that game was growing more scarce every 
year, and that they had also noticed the approach of whites, 
and felt that they must soon, in a great measure, conform to 
their habits. * * * It has not fallen to my lot to visit any 
Indians who seem more disposed to yield to the wishes of the 
Government than the Cheyennes and Arapahoes. Notwith- 
standing they are fully aware of the rich mines discovered in 
their country, they are disposed to yield up their claims with- 
out any reluctance. They certainly deserve the fostering hand 
of the Government, and should be liberally encouraged in their 
new sphere of life." 

This treaty was concluded in February of the next year, at 
Fort Wise. The chiefs of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes there 
" ceded and relinquished " all the lands to which they had any 
claim, " wherever situated," except a certain tract whose boun- 
daries were defined. The land relinquished included lands in 
Kansas and Nebraska, and all of that part of Colorado which is 
north of the Arkansas, and east of the Rocky Mountains. 

The Cheyennes and Arapahoes, in " consideration of their 
kind treatment by the citizens of Denver and the adjoining 
towns," "respectfully requested," in the eleventh Article of 
this treaty, that the United States would permit the proprietors 
of these towns to enter their lands at the minimum price of 
one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre. This Article was 
struck out by the Senate, and the Indians consented to the 
amendment; but the proof of their good -will and gratitude 
remained on record, nevertheless. 

The desire of the Government to make farmers of these In- 
dians was reiterated in this treaty, and evidenced by pledges 
of purchase of stock, agricultural implements, etc. ; mills, also, 


and mechanic shops they were to have, and an annuity of 
$30,000 a year for fifteen years. There was this clause, how- 
ever, in an article of the treaty, " Their annuities may, at the 
discretion of the President of the United States, be discon- 
tinued entirely should said Indians fail to make reasonable 
and satisfactory efforts to improve and advance their condi- 
tion ; in which case such other provision shall be made for 
them as the President and Congress may judge to be suitable 
or proper." Could there be a more complete signing away 
than this of all benefits provided for by the treaty ? 

Lands were to be assigned to them "in severalty," and cer- 
tificates were to be issued by the Commissioner of Indian Af- 
fairs, specifying the names of individuals ; and that the " said 
tracts were set apart for the exclusive use and benefit of the 
assignees and their heirs." Each Indian was to have forty 
acres of land, " to include in every case, as far as practicable, 
a reasonable portion of timber and water." 

The tenth Article of the treaty provided that the annuities 
now paid to the Arapahoes and Cheyennes should be continued 
to them until the stipulations of such treaties or articles of 
agreement should be fulfilled; and the seventh Article pro- 
vided that the President, with the assent of Congress, should 
have power to modify or -change any " of the provisions of for- 
mer treaties " " in such manner and to whatever extent " he 
might judge it to be necessary and expedient for their best 

Could a community of people be delivered up more com- 
pletely bound and at the mercy of a government ? Some of 
the bands of the Cheyennes who were not represented at this 
council were much dissatisfied with the treaty, as evidently 
they had great reason to be. And as time went on, all the 
bands became dissatisfied. Two years later we find that, in- 
stead of their being settled on those farms " in severalty," the 
survey of their lands has been just completed, and that "a 


contract will soon be made for the construction of a ditch for 
the purpose of irrigating their arable land." "It is to be 
hoped," the Superintendent of the Colorado Agency writes, 
that " when suitable preparations for their subsistence by agri- 
culture and grazing are made, these tribes will gradually cease 
their roaming, and become permanently settled." It would 
seem highly probable that under those conditions the half- 
starved creatures would be only too glad to cease to roam. It 
is now ten years since they were reported to be in a condition 
of miserable starvation every winter, trying to raise a little 
corn here and there, and begging to have a farmer and a black- 
smith sent out to them. They are now divided and subdivided 
into small bands, hunting the buffalo wherever they can find 
him, and going in small parties because there are no longer 
large herds of buffaloes to be found anywhere. The Governor 
of Colorado says, in his report for 1863, that "these extensive 
subdivisions of the tribes caused great difficulty in ascertain- 
ing the really guilty parties in the commission of offences." 
Depredations and hostilities are being frequently committed, 
but it is manifestly unjust to hold the whole tribe responsible 
for the acts of a few. 

Things grew rapidly worse in Colorado. Those "prepara- 
tions for their subsistence by agriculture and grazing" which 
it took so much room to tell in the treaty not having been 
made ; the farmer, and the blacksmith, and the grist-mill not 
having arrived ; the contract not having been even let for the 
irrigating-ditch, without, which no man can raise any crops in 
Colorado, not even on arable lands many of the Cheyenncs 
and Arapahoes took to a system of pilfering reprisals from 
emigrant trains, and in the fights resulting from this effort to 
steal they committed many terrible murders. All the tribes on 
the plains were more or less engaged in these outrages ; and it 
was evident, before midsummer of 1864, that the Government 
must interfere with a strong hand to protect the emigrants and 


Western settlers to protect them from the consequences of its 
own bad faith with the Indians. The Governor of Colorado 
called for military aid, and for authority to make a campaign 
against the Indians, which was given lum. But as there was no 
doubt that many of the Indians were still peaceable and loyal, 
and he desired to avoid every possibility of their sharing in 
the punishment of the guilty, he issued a proclamation in 
June, requesting all who were friendly to come to places which 
he designated, where they were to be assured of safety and pro- 
tection. This proclamation was sent to all the Indians of the 
plains. In consequence of it, several bands of friendly Arapa- 
hoes and Cheyennes came to Fort Lyon, and were there re- 
ceived by the officer in charge, rationed, and assured of safety. 
Here there occurred, on the 29th of November, one of the foul- 
est massacres which the world has seen. This camp of friend- 
ly Indians was surprised at daybreak, and men, women, and 
children were butchered in cold blood. Most of those who 
escaped fled to the north, and, joining other bands of the 
tribe, proceeded at once to take most fearful, and, it must be 
said, natural revenge. A terrible war followed. Some 'of them 
confederated with the Sioux, and waged relentless war on all 
the emigrant routes across the plains. These hostilities were 
bitter in proportion to the bitterness of resentment felt by the 
refugees from this massacre. " It will be long before faith in 
the honor and humanity of the whites can be re-established in 
the minds of these barbarians," says an official report, "and 
the last Indian who escaped from the brutal scene at Sand 
Creek will probably have died before its effects will have dis- 

In October of the next year some of the bands, having first 
had their safety assured by an old and tried friend, L H. Leav- 
enworth, Indian Agent for the Upper Arkansas, gathered to* 

* See Appendix, Arts; L and XL 


gether to hold a council with United States Commissioners on 
the Little Arkansas. The commissioners were empowered by 
the President to restore to the survivors of the Sand Creek mas- 
sacre full value for all the property then destroyed ; " to make 
reparation," so far as possible. To each woman who had lost a 
husband there they gave one hundred and sixty acres of land ; 
to each child who had lost a parent, the same. Probably even 
an Indian woman would consider one hundred and sixty acres 
of land a poor equivalent for a murdered husband ; but the 
offers were accepted in good part by the tribe, and there is 
nothing in all the history of this patient race more pathetic 
than the calm and reasonable language employed by some of 
these Cheyenne and Arapahoe chiefs at this council. Said 
Black Kettle, the chief over whose lodge the American flag, 
with a white flag tied below, was floating at the time of the 
massacre, " I once thought that I was the only man that perse- 
vered to be the friend of the white man ; but since they have 
come and cleaned out our lodges, horses, and everything else, 
it is hard for me to believe white men any more. * * * All my 
friends, the Indians that are holding back, they are afraid to 
come in ; are afraid that they will be betrayed as I have been. 
I am not afraid of white men, but come and take you by the 
hand." Elsewhere, Black Kettle spoke of Colonel Chivington's 
troops as "that fool -band of soldiers that cleared out our 
lodges, and killed our women and children. This is hard on 
us." With a magnanimity and common -sense which white 
men would have done well to imitate in their judgments of the 
Indians, he recognized that it would be absurd, as well as un- 
just, to hold all white men in distrust on account of the acts 
of that "fool-band of soldiers."* 

* Gen. Harney, on being asked by Bishop W hippie if Black Kettle were 
a hostile Indian, replied, laying his hand on his heart, " I have worn this 
uniform fifty-five years. He was as true a friend of the white man as I am." 


By the terms of this treaty, a new reservation was to be set 
apart for the Cheyennes and Arapahoes ; hostile acts on either 
side were to be settled by arbitration; no whites were to be 
allowed on the reservation ; a large tract of country was to be 
"relinquished" by the Indians, but they were "expressly per- 
mitted to reside upon and range at pleasure throughout the un- 
settled portions of that part of the country they claim as origi- 
nally theirs." The United States reserved the right to build 
roads and establish forts in the reservation, and pledged itself to 
pay " annually, for the period of forty years," certain sums of 
money to each person in the tribe : twenty dollars a head till 
they were settled on their reservation ; after that, forty dollars 
a head. To this end an accurate annual census of the Indians 
was promised at the time of the annuity payment in the spring. 

The Indians went away from this council full of hope and 
satisfaction. Their oldest friends, Colonel Bent and Kit Carson, 
were among the commissioners, and they felt that at last they 
had a treaty they could trust Their old reservation in Colora- 
do (to which they probably could never have been induced to 
return) was restored to the public domain of that territory, and 
they hoped in their new home for greater safety and peace. 
The Apaches, who had heretofore been allied with the Kiowas 
and Comanches, were now allied with them, and to have the 
benefits of the new treaty. A small portion of the tribe 
chiefly young men of a turbulent nature still held aloof, and 
refused to come under the treaty provisions. One riotous band, 
called the Dog Soldiers, were especially refractory ; but, before 
the end of the next year, they also decided to go southward 
and join the rest of the tribe on the new reservation. Occa- 
sional hostilities took place in the course of the winter, one of 
which it is worth while to relate, the incident is so typical a one. 

On the 21st of February a son of one Mr. Boggs was killed 
and scalped by a party of four Cheyenne Indians about six 
miles east of Fort Dodge, on the Arkansas River. On invesr 



tigation, it appeared that Mr. Boggs bad gone to the Indian 
camp without any authority, and had there traded ofE eleven 
one-dollar bills for ten-dollar bills. The Indian on whom this 
trick had been played found Mr. Boggs out, went to him, and 
demanded reparation ; and, in the altercation and fight which 
ensued, Mr. Boggs's son was killed. This story is given in the 
official report of Lieutenant-colonel Gordon, U.S. A., and Colonel 
Gordon adds, "I think this case needs no further comment." 

The Cheyennes did not long remain at peace ; in the sum- 
mer the Senate had added to this last treaty an amendment 
requiring their new reservation to be entirely "outside the 
State of Kansas, and not within any Indian territory, except 
on consent of the tribes interested." As the reservation had 
been partly in Kansas, and partly on the lands of the Cherokces, 
this amendment left them literally without any home what- 
ever. Tinder these circumstances, the young men of the tribe 
soon began to join again with other hostile Indians in commit- 
ting depredations and hostilities along the great mail-routes on 
the plains. Again they were visited with summary and appar- 
ently deserved vengeance by the United States troops, and in 
the summer of 1867 a Cheyenne village numbering three hun- 
dred lodges was burnt by United States soldiers under Gen- 
eral Hancock. Fortunately the women and children had all 
fled on the first news of the approach of the army. Soon after 
this another council was held with them, and once more the 
precarious peace was confirmed by treaty ; but was almost im- 
mediately broken again in consequence of the failure of the 
Government to comply with the treaty provisions. That some 
members of these tribes had also failed to keep to the treaty 
provisions is undoubtedly true, but by far the greater part of 
them were loyal and peaceable. " The substantial cause of this 
war," however, was acknowledged by the Indian Bureau itself 
to be " the fact that the Department, for want of appropriations, 
was compelled to stop their supplies, and to permit them to 
recur to the chase for subsistence." 


In 1868 "the country bounded east by the State of Arkan- 
sas, south by Texas, north by Kansas, and west by the hun- 
dredth meridian of longitude, was set apart for the exclusive 
use of the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, and Comanches, and 
such other bands as might be located there by proper author- 
ity;" and the whole was declared to constitute "a military dis- 
trict," under command of Major-general Hazen, U.S.A. In Oc- 
tober of the same year Major Wynkoop, who had been the faith- 
ful friend of the Cheyennes and Arapahoes ever since the days 
of Sand Creek, published his last protest in their behalf, in a 
letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He says that the 
failure of the Government to fulfil treaty provisions in the mat- 
ter of supplies forced them to resort to hunting again; and 
then the refusal of the Government to give them the arms and 
ammunition promised in the treaty, left them without any 
means of seeming the game; hence the depredations. The 
chiefs had promised to deliver up the guilty ones to Major 
Wynkoop, " but before sufficient time had elapsed for them to 
fulfil their promises the troops were in the field, and the Indians 
in flight. * * * Even after the majority of the Cheyennes had 
been forced to take the war-path, in consequence of the bad 
acts of some of their nation, several bands of the Cheyennes, 
and the whole Arapahoe tribe, could have been kept at peace 
had proper action been taken at the time ; but now all the In- 
dians of the Upper Arkansas are engaged in the struggle."* 

In 1869 many Arapahoes and Cheyennes had made their 
way to Montana, and were living with the Gros Ventres ; most 
of those who remained at the south were quiet, and seemed to 
be disposed to observe the provisions of the treaty, but were 
earnestly imploring to be moved farther to the north, where 
they might hunt buffalo. 

* On October 27th of this year Black Kettle and his entire band were 
killed by Gen, Ouster's command at Antelope Hills, on the Wichita River. 


In 1870, under the care of an agent of the Society of 
Friends, the improvement of the Southern Cheyennes was re- 
markable. Buildings were put up, land was broken and plant- 
ed, and the agent reports that, "with proper care on the part of 
the Government," there will not be any " serious trouble " with 
the tribe, although there are still some "restless spirits" among 

In 1872 the Cheyennes and Arapahoes are reported as "al- 
lied to the Government in the maintenance of peace on the 
border. Very strong inducements have been made by the raid- 
ing bands of Kiowas, at critical times in the past two years, to 
join them in hostile alliance in raids against the whites ; but 
all such appeals have been rejected, and, as a tribe, they have 
remained loyal and peaceful." 

Thirty lodges of the Northern Cheyennes returned this year 
and joined their tribe, but many of them were still roaming 
among the Northern Sioux. In 1874 there were said to be 
over three thousand of these Northern Cheyennes and Arapa- 
hoes at the Red Cloud Agency. The Government refused any 
longer to permit them to stay there ; and, after repeated pro- 
tests, and expressions of unwillingness to move, they at last 
consented to go to the Indian Territory. But their removal 
was deferred, on account of the unsettled state of the South- 
ern Cheyennes. Early in the spring troubles had broken out 
among them, in consequence of a raid of horse -.thieves on 
their reservation. The chief, Little Robe, lost forty-three head 
of valuable ponies. These ponies were offered for sale in 
Dodge City, Kansas, where Little Robe's son, with a small 
band of young men, made an unsuccessful effort to reclaim 
them. Failing in this, the band, on their way back, stole the 
first stock they came to ; were pursued by the Kansas farmers, 
the stock recaptured, and Little Robe's son badly wounded. 
This was sufficient to bring on a general war against white 
men in the whole region; and the history of the next few 


months was a history of murders and outrages by Cheyennes, 
Kiowas, Osages, and Comanches. Sixty lodges of the Chey- 
ennes took refuge under the protection of the United States 
troops at the agency, and the old problem returned again, how 
to punish the guilty without harming the innocent. A vigor- 
ous military campaign was carried on under General Miles 
against the hostiles until, in the spring of 1875, the main body 
surrendered. Wretched, half starved, more than half naked, 
without lodges, ponies a more pitiable sight was never seen 
than this band of Indians. It was inconceivable how they had 
so long held out ; nothing but a well-nigh indomitable pride 
and inextinguishable hatred of the whites and sense of wrongs 
could have supported them. It was decided that thirty-three 
of the most desperate ones should be sent as prisoners to St. 
Augustine, Florida ; but before the selection was completed a 
general stampede among the surrendered braves took place, re- 
sulting in the final escape of some four hundred. They held 
their ground from two P. M. until dark against three companies 
of cavalry and two Gatlin guns, and, " under cover of an ex- 
tremely dark and stormy night, escaped, leaving only three 
dead on the field." It is impossible not to admire such bravery 
as this. The Report of the Indian Bureau for 1875 says of 
the condition of affairs at this agency at this time: "The 
friendly Cheyennes have had their loyalty put to the severest 
test by comparing their own condition with that of the full-fed 
and warmly-housed captives of the War Department. Notwith- 
standing all privations, they have been unswerving in their 
friendship, and ever ready to assist the agent in maintaining 
order, and compelling the Northern Cheyennes who have vis- 
ited the agency to submit to a count." In consequence of the 
hostilities, they were obliged to remain close to the agency in 
camp a hardship that could hardly be endured, and resulted 
in serious suffering. Their rations were not enough to subsist 
them, and yet, being cut off from hunting, they were entirely 


dependent on them. And even these inadequate rations did 
not arrive when they were due. Their agent writes, in 1875 : 
"On last year's flour contract not a single pound was received 
until the fourteenth day of First Month, 1875, when six months 
of cold weather and many privations had passed, notwithstand- 
ing the many protestations and urgent appeals from the agent." 

The now thoroughly subjugated Cheyennes went to work 
with a will. In one short year they are reported as so anxious 
to cultivate the ground that, when they could not secure the 
use of a plough or hoe, they used " axes, sticks of wood, and 
their hands, in preparing the ground, planting and cultivating 
their garden spots." 

The Northern Cheyennes are still on the Ked Cloud Agency, 
and are reported as restless and troublesome. 

In 1877 they were all removed to the Cheyenne and Arapa- 
hoe Agency, in Indian Territory. The Reports of the Depart- 
ment say that they asked to be taken there. The winter of 
1866 and the summer of 1867 were seasons of great activity 
and interest at this agency. In the autumn they went off on a 
grand buffalo hunt, accompanied by a small detail of troops 
from Fort Reno. Early in the winter white horse - thieves 
began to make raids on their ponies, and stole so many that 
many of the Indians were obliged to depend on their friends' 
ponies to help them return home. Two hundred and sixty in 
all were stolen carried, as usual, to Dodge City and sold. A 
few were recovered ; but the loss to the Indians was estimated 
at two thousand nine hundred dollars. "Such losses are 
very discouraging to the Indians," writes their agent, and 
are " but a repetition of the old story that brought on the war 
of 1874." 

In midsummer of this year the " Cheyenne and Arapahoe 
Transportation Company" was formed: forty wagons were 
sent out, with harness, by the Government; the Indians fur- 
nished the horses ; and on the 19th of July the Indians set out 


in their new r6le of " freighters " of their own supplies. They 
went to Wichita, Kansas one hundred and sixty-five miles in 
six days, with their ponies ; loaded sixty-five thousand pounds 
of supplies into the wagons, and made the return trip in two 
weeks, all things being delivered in good condition. 

This experiment was thoroughly tested ; and its results are 
notable among the many unheeded refutations of the constant- 
ly repeated assertion that Indians will not work. The agent 
of the Cheyennes and the Arapahoes, testifying before a Sen- 
ate Committee in 1879, says: "We have run a wagon train, 
driven by Indians, to Wichita, for three years and over, and 
have never had a drunken Indian yet." 

" Do they waste their money, or bring it home ?" 

"They almost invariably spend it for saddles or clothing, 
or something of use to them that is not furnished by the Gov- 
ernment. * * * They have never stolen an ounce of sugar, 
coffee, or anything else : they have been careful not to injure 
or waste anything, and have delivered everything in good 

The agent reports not a single case of drunkenness during 
the year. The manual labor and boarding-school has one hun- 
dred and thirteen scholars in it, "all it can accommodate." 
The children earned four hundred dollars in the year by work 
of one sort and another, and have " expended the money as 
judiciously as would white children of their ages." They 
bought calico, cotton cloth, shoes, hats, several head of cattle, 
and one horse. They also "bought many delicacies for their 
friends in camp who were sick and in need." 

" One Cheyenne woman tanned robes, traded them for twen- 
ty-five two-year-old heifers, and gave them to her daughter in 
the school. * * * The boys have one hundred and twenty acres 
of corn under cultivation, ten acres of potatoes, broom-corn, 
sugar-cane, peanuts, melons, and a good variety of vegetables. 
They are entitled to one-half the crop for cultivating ft." 


This is a marvellous report of the change wrought in a peo- 
ple in only two years' time. It proves that the misdemeanors, 
the hostilities of 1874 and 1875, had been largely forced on 
them by circumstances. 

The winter of 1877 and summer of 1878 were terrible 
seasons for the Cheyennes. Their fall hunt had proved un- 
successful. Indians from other reservations had hunted the 
ground over before them, and driven the buffalo off ; and the 
Cheyennes made their way home again in straggling parties, 
destitute and hungry. Their agent reports that the result of 
this hunt has clearly proved that "in the future the Indian 
must rely on tilling the ground as the principal means of sup- 
port ; and if this conviction can be firmly established, the great- 
est obstacle to advancement in agriculture will be overcome. 
With the buffalo gone, and their pony herds being constantly 
decimated by the inroads of horse -thieves, they must soon 
adopt, in all its varieties, the way of the white man. * * * Tho 
usual amount of horse-stealing has prevailed, and the few cases 
of successful pursuit have only increased the boldness of the 
thieves and the number of the thefts. Until some other sys- 
tem of law is introduced we cannot hope for a cessation of this 

The ration allowed to these Indians is reported as being " re- 
duced and insufficient," and the small sums they have been 
able to earn by selling buffalo-hides are said to have been " of 
material assistance" to them in " supplementing" this ration. 
But in this year there have been sold only $657 worth of 
skins by the Cheyennes and Arapahoes together. In 1876 
they sold $17,600 worth. Here is a falling off enough to 
cause very great suffering in a little community of five thou- 
sand people. But this was only the beginning of their troubles. 
The summer proved one of unusual heat. . Extreme heat, chills 
and fever, and " a reduced and insufficient ration," all com- 
bined, resulted in an amount of sickness heart-rending to read 


of. " It is no exaggerated estimate," says the agent, " to place 
the number of sick people on the reservation at two thousand. 
Many deaths occurred which might have been obviated had 
there been a proper supply of anti-malarial remedies at hand. 
* * * Hundreds applying for treatment have been refused med- 

The Northern Cheyennes grew more and more restless and 
unhappy. " In council and elsewhere they profess an intense 
desire to be sent North, where they say they will settle down 
as the others have done," says the report ; adding, with an ob- 
tuseness which is inexplicable, that "no difference has been 
made in the treatment of the Indians," but that the "com- 
pliance" of these Northern Cheyennes has been " of an entirely 
different nature from that of the other Indians," and that it may 
be " necessary in the future to compel what so far we have been 
unable to effect by kindness and appeal to their better natures." 

If it is " an appeal to men's better natures " to remove them 
by force from a healthful Northern climate, which they love 
and thrive in, to a malarial Southern one, where they are struck 
down by chills and fever refuse them medicine which can 
combat chills and fever, and finally starve them then, indeed, 
might be said to have been most forcible appeals made to the 
" better natures " of these Northern Cheyennes. What might 
have been predicted followed. 

Early in the autumn, after this terrible summer, a band of 
some three hundred of these Northern Cheyennes took the 
desperate step of running off and attempting to make their 
way back to Dakota. They were pursued, f ought desperately, 
but were finally overpowered, and surrendered. They surren- 
dered, however, only on the condition that they should be 
taken to Dakota. They were unanimous in declaring that 
they would rather die than go back to the Indian Territory. 
This was nothing more, in fact, than saying that they would 
rather die by bullets than of chills and fever and starvation. 


These Indians were taken to Fort Eobinson, Nebraska. Here 
they were confined as prisoners of war, and held subject to the 
orders of the Department of the Interior. The department 
was informed of the Indians' determination never to be taken 
back alive to Indian Territory. The army officers in charge 
reiterated these statements, and implored the department to 
permit them to remain at the North ; but it was of no avail. 
Orders came explicit, repeated, finally stern insisting on the 
return of these Indians to their agency. The commanding 
officer at Fort Robinson has been censured severely for the 
course he pursued in his effort to carry out those orders. It 
is difficult to see what else he could have done, except to have 
resigned his post. He could not take three hundred Indians 
by sheer brute force and carry them hundreds of miles, espe- 
cially when they were so desperate that they had broken up 
the iron stoves in their quarters, and wrought and twisted 
them into weapons with which to resist. He thought perhaps 
he could starve them into submission. He stopped the issue 
of food; he also stopped the issue of fuel to them. It was 
midwinter; the mercury froze in that month at Fort Eobin- 
son. At the end of two days he asked the Indians to let their 
women and children come out that he might feed them. Not 
a woman would come out. On the night of the fourth day 
or, according to some accounts, the sixth these starving, freez- 
ing Indians broke prison, overpowered the guards, and fled, 
carrying their women and children with them. They held the 
pursuing troops at bay for several days; finally made a last 
stand in a deep ravine, and were shot down men, women, and 
children together. Out of the whole band there were left alive 
some fifty women and children and seven men, who, having 
been confined in another part of the fort, had not had the good 
fortune to share in this outbreak and meet their death in the 
ravine. These, with their wives and children, were sent to Fort 
Leavenworth, to be put in prison ; the men to be tried for mur- 


clcrs committed in their skirmishes in Kansas on their way to 
the north. Bed Cloud, a Sioux chief, came to Fort Robinson 
immediately after this massacre, and entreated to be allowed 
to take the Cheyenne widows and orphans into his tribe to be 
cared for. The Government, therefore, kindly permitted twen- 
ty-two Cheyenne widows and thirty-two Cheyenne children 
many of them orphans to be received into the band of the 
Ogallalla Sioux. 

An attempt was made by the Commissioner of Indian Af- 
fairs, in his Report for 1879, to show by tables and figures that 
these Indians were not starving at the time of their flight from 
Indian Territory. The attempt only redounded to his own dis- 
grace ; it being proved, by the testimony given by a former 
clerk of the Indian Bureau before the Senate committee ap- 
pointed to investigate the case of the Northern Cheyennes, that 
the commissioner had been guilty of absolute dishonesty in his 
estimates, and that the quantity of beef actually issued to the 
Cheyenne Agency was hundreds of pounds less than he had 
reported it, and that the Indians were actually, as they had 
claimed, " starving." 

The testimony given before this committee by some of the 
Cheyenne prisoners themselves is heart-rending. One must 
have a callous heart who can read it unmoved. 

When asked by Senator Morgan, " Did you ever really suffer 
from hunger?" one of the chiefs replied, "We were always 
hungry; we never had enough. When they that were sick 
once in awhile felt as though they could eat sometliing, we 
had nothing to give them." 

" Did you not go out on the plains sometimes and hunt buf- 
falo, with the consent of the agent t" 

" We went out on a buffalo-hunt, and nearly starved while 
out ; we could not find any buffalo hardly ; we could hardly 
get back with our ponies; we had to kill a good many of our 
ponies to eat, to save ourselves from starving." 


"How many children got sick and died?" 

"Between the fall of 1877 and 1878 we lost fifty children, 
A great many of our finest young men died, as well as many 

" Old Crow," a chief who served faithfully as Indian scout 
and ally under General Crook for years, said : " I did not feel 
like doing anything for awhile, because I had no heart. I did 
not want to be in this country. I was all the time wanting to 
get back to the better country where I was born, and where 
my children are buried, and where my mother and sister yet 
live. So I have laid in my lodge most of the time with noth- 
ing to think about but that, and the affair up north at Fort 
Robinson, and my relatives and friends who were killed there. 
But now I feel as though, if I had a wagon and a horse or 
two, and some land, I would try to work. If I had something, 
so that I could do something, I might not think so much about 
these other things. As it is now, I feel as though I would just 
as soon be asleep with the rest." 

The wife of one of the chiefs confined at Fort Leavenworth 
testified before the committee as follows : " The main thing I 
complained of was that we didn't get enough to eat ; my chil- 
dren nearly starved to death; then sickness came, and there 
was nothing good for them to eat ; for a long time the most 
they had to eat was corn-meal and salt. Three or four chil- 
dren dfed every day for awhile, and that frightened us." 

(This testimony was taken at Fort Reno, in Indian Terri- 

"When asked if there were anything she would like to say to 
the committee, the poor woman replied: "I wish you would 
do what you can to get my husband released. I am very poor 
here, and do not know what is to become of me. If he were 
released he would come down here, and we would live together 
quietly, and do no harm to anybody, and make no trouble. 
But I should never get over my desire to get back north ; I 


should always want to get 'back where my children were born, 
and died, and were buried. That country is better than this 
in every respect. * * * There is plenty of good, cool water 
there pure water while here the water is not good. It is 
not hot there, nor so sickly. Are you going where my hus- 
band is ! Can you tell when he is likely to be released ?" 

The Senators were obliged to reply to her that they were not 
going where her husband was, and they could not tell when he 
would be released. 

In view of the accounts of the sickness and suffering of these 
Indians in 1877 and 1878, the reports made in 1879 of the 
industry and progress at the Cheyenne and Arapahoe* Agency 
are almost incredible. The school children have, by their earn- 
ings, bought one hundred head of cattle; 451,000 pounds of 
freight have been transported by the Indians during the year ; 
they have also worked at making brick, chopping wood, mak- 
ing hay, hauling wood, and splitting and hauling rails; and 
have earned thereby $7121 25. Two of the girls of the school 
have been promoted to the position of assistant teachers ; and 
the United States mail contractor between this agency and 
Fort Elliott, in Texas a distance of one hundred and sixty-five 
'miles has operated almost exclusively with full-blooded In- 
dians : "there has been no report of breach of trust on the part 
of any Indians connected with this trust, and the contractor 
expresses his entire approval of their conduct." 

It is stated also that there was not sufficient clothing to fur- 
nish each Indian with a warm suit of clothing, " as promised 
by the treaty," and that, " by reference to official correspond- 
ence, the fact is established that the Cheyennes and Arapahoes 
are judged as having no legal rights to any lands, having for- 
feited their treaty reservation by a failure to settle thereon," 
and their " present reservation not having been, as yet, confirm- 
ed by Congress. Inasmuch as the Indians fully understood, 
and were assured that this reservation was given to them in 


lieu of their treaty reservation, and have commenced farming 
in the belief that there was no uncertainty about the matter, it 
is but common justice that definite action be had at an early 
day, securing to them what is their right." 

It would seem that there could be found nowhere in the 
melancholy record of the experiences of our Indians a more 
glaring instance of confused multiplication of injustices than 
this. The Cheyennes were pursued and slain for venturing to 
leave this very reservation, which, it appears, is not their reser- 
vation at all, and they have no legal right to it. Are there any 
words to fitly characterize such treatment as this from a great, 
powerful, rich nation, to a handful of helpless people ? 




BOUNDED on the north, south, and east by snow -topped 
mountains, and on the -west by shining -waters ; holding in its 
rocky passes the sources of six great rivers; bearing on its 
slopes and plains measureless forests of pine and cedar and 
spruce ; its meadows gardens of summer bloom and fruit, and 
treasure-houses of fertility, lies Oregon : wide, healthful, beau- 
tiful, abundant, and inviting, no wonder it was coveted and 
fought for. 

When Lewis and Clarke visited it, eighty years ago, they 
found living there many tribes of Indians, numbering in all, at 
the lowest estimates, between twenty and thirty thousand ; of 
all these tribes the Nez Percys were the richest, noblest, and 
most gentle. 

To the Cayuses, one of the most warlike of these tribes, 
Messrs. Lewis and Clarke presented an American flag, telling 
them it was an emblem of peace. The gay coloring and beauty 
of the flag, allied to this significance, made a deep impression 
on the poetic minds of these savages. They set the flag up in 
a beautiful valley called the Grande Ronde a fertile basin 
some twenty-five miles in diameter, surrounded by high walls 
of basaltic rock, and watered by a branch of the Snake River : 
around this flag they met their old enemies the Shoshones, and 
swore to keep perpetual peace with them ; and the spot became 
consecrated to an annual meeting of the tribes a sort of fair, 
where the Cayuse, Nez Perc6, and Walla Walla Indians came 
every summer and traded their roots, skins, elk and buffalo 


meats, for salmon and horses, with the Shoshones. It was a 
beautiful spot, nearly circular, luxuriantly covered with grass, 
the hill wall around it thick grown with evergreen trees, chiefly 
larch. The Indians called it Karpkarp, which being translated 
is "Balm of Gilead." 

The life of these Indians was a peculiar one. Most of them 
had several homes, and as they lived only a part of the year in 
each, were frequently spoken of by travellers as nomadic tribes, 
while in fact they were as wedded to their homes as any civil- 
ized inhabitants of the world ; and their wanderings were as 
systematic as the removals of wealthy city people from town 
homes co country places. If a man were rich enough, and fond 
enough of change, to have a winter house in New York, a house 
for the summer in Newport, and one for autumn in the White 
Mountains, nobody would think of calling him a nomad ; still 
less if he made these successive changes annually, with perfect 
regularity, owing to opportunities which were offered him at 
regularly recuning intervals in these different places to earn 
his living ; which was the case with the Oregon Indians. 

As soon as the snow disappears in the spring there is in 
.certain localities, ready for gathering, the "pohpoh" a small 
bulb, like an onion. This is succeeded by the " spatlam," and 
the " spatlam " by the " cammass " or " ithwa," a root like a 
parsnip, which they make into fine meal. In midsummer come 
the salmon in countless shoals up the rivers. August is the 
month for berries, of which they dry great quantities for win- 
ter use. In September salmon again coming down stream 
now, exhausted and ready to die, but in sufficiently good con- 
dition to be dried for the winter. In October comes the " me- 
sani," another root of importance in the Indian larder. After 
this they must depend on deer, bears, small game, and wild- 
fowl. When all these resources fail, there is a kind of lichen 
growing on the trees, of which they can eat enough to keep 
themselves from starving, though its nutritive qualities are very 


small. Thus each season had its duty and its appointed place 
of abode, and year after year the same month found them in 
the same spot. 

In 1833 a delegation from these Oregon Indians went to St, 
Louis, and through Mr. Catlin, the artist, made known their ob- 
ject, which was " to inquire for the truth of a representation 
which they said some white men had made among them, that 
our religion was better than theirs, and that they would all be 
lost if they did not embrace it." Two members of this delega- 
tion were Nez Perces " Hee-oh'ks-te-kin " and " H'co-a-h'co- 
a-h'cotes-min," or "Rabbit-skin Leggings," and "No Horns on 
his Head." Their portraits are to be found in " Catlin's Amer- 
ican Indians." One of these died on his way home ; but the 
other journeyed his thousands of miles safely back, and bore 
to his tribe the news " that the report which they had heard 
was well founded, and that good and religious men would soon 
come among them to teach this religion, so that they could all 
understand and have the benefits of it." 

Two years later the Methodist Episcopal Society and the 
American Board both sent missionaries to Oregon. Before 
this the religion of the fur-traders was the only white man's 
religion that the Indians had had the opportunity of observing. 
Eleven different companies and expeditions, besides the Hud- 
son's JBay and the North-west Companies, had been established 
in their country, and the Indians had become only too familiar 
with their standards and methods. It was not many years af- 
ter the arrival of the missionaries in Oregon that a traveller 
there gave the following account of his experience with a Nez 
Pcrc6 guide : - 

" Creekie (so he was named) was a very kind man ; he turn- 
ed my worn-out animals loose, and loaded my packs on his 
own ; gave me a splendid horse to ride, and intimated by sig- 
nificant gestures that we would go a short distance that after- 
noon. I gave my assent, and we were soon on our way ; hav- 



ing ridden about ten miles, we camped for the night. I no- 
ticed, during the ride, a degree of forbearance toward each oth- 
er which I had never before observed in that race. When we 
halted for the night the two boys were behind ; they had been 
frolicking with their horses, and, as the darkness came on, lost 
the trail. It was a half -hour before they made their appear- 
ance, and during this time the parents manifested the most 
anxious solicitude for them. One of them was but three years 
old, and was lashed to the horse he rode ; the other only seven 
years of age young pilots in the wilderness at night. But 
the elder, true to the sagacity of his race, had taken his course, 
and struck the brook on which we were encamped within three 
hundred yards of us. The pride of the parents at this feat, 
and their ardent attachment to the. children, were perceptible 
in the pleasure with which they received them at their even- 
ning fire, and heard the relation of their childish adventures. 
The weather was so pleasant that no tent was spread. The 
willows were bent, and the buffalo -robes spread over them. 
Underneath were laid other robes, on which my Indian host 
seated himself, with his wife and children on one side and 
myself on the other. A fire burnt brightly in front. Water 
was brought, and the evening ablutions having been performed, 
the wife presented a dish of meat to her husband and one to 
myself. There was a pause. The woman seated herself be- 
tween her children. The Indian then bowed his head and 
prayed to God. A wandering savage in Oregon, calling on 
Jehovah in the name of Jesus Christ! After the prayer he 
gave meat to his children and passed the dish to his wife. 
While eating, the frequent repetition of the words Jehovah and 
Jesus Christ, in the most reverential manner, led me to sup- 
pose that they were conversing on religious topics, and thus 
they passed an hour. Meanwhile the exceeding weariness of a 
long day's travel admonished me to seek rest. I had slumber- 
ed I know not how long, when a strain of music awoke me. 


The Indian family was engaged in its evening devotions. They 
were singing a hymn in the Nez Percys language. Having 
finished, they all knelt and bowed their faces on the buffalo- 
robe, and Creekie prayed long and fervently. Afterward they 
sung another hymn, and retired. To hospitality, family affec- 
tion, and devotion, Creekie added honesty and cleanliness to a 
great degree, manifesting by these fruits, so contrary to the 
nature and habits of his race, the beautiful influence of the 
work of grace on the heart." 

The earliest mention of the Nez Perces in the official records 
of the Indian Bureau is in the year 1843. In that year an 
agent was sent out to investigate the condition of the Oregon 
tribes, and he reports as follows : " The only tribes from which 
much is to be hoped, or anything to be feared in this part of 
Oregon, are the Walla Wallas, Cay uses, and Nez Percys, inhab- 
iting a district on the Columbia and its tributaries, commenc- 
ing two hundred and forty miles from its mouth, and stretch- 
ing four hundred and eighty miles in the interior." 

The Nez Percys, living farther inland, " inhabit a beautiful 
grazing district, not surpassed by any I have seen for verdure, 
water privileges, climate, or health. This tribe forms an- honor- 
able exception to the general Indian character being more 
noble, industrious, sensible, and better disposed toward the 
whites and their improvements in the arts and sciences ; and 
though brave as Csesar, the whites have nothing to dread at 
their hands in case of their dealing out to them what they con- 
ceive to be right and equitable." 

When this agent arrived at. the missionary station among 
the Nez Perces, he was met there by a large body of the In- 
dians with twenty-two of their chiefs. The missionaries re- 
ceived him " with joyful countenances and glad hearts ;" the 
Indians, " with civility, gravity, and dignified reserve." 

He addressed them at length, explaining to them the kind 
intentions of the Government toward them. They listened 


with "gravity, fixed attention, and decorum." Finally an aged 
chief, ninety. years of age, arose and said : "I speak to-day ; 
perhaps to-morrow I die. I am the oldest chief of the tribe. 
I was the high chief when your great brothers, Lewis and 
Clarke, visited this country. They visited me, and honored me 
with their friendship and counsel. I showed them my numer- 
ous wounds, received in bloody battle with the Snakes. They 
told me it was not good ; it was better to be at peace ; gave 
me a flag of truce ; I held it up high. We met, and talked, 
but never fought again. Clarke pointed to this day to you 
and this occasion. We have long waited in expectation ; sent 
three of our sons to Red River school to prepare for it ; two 
of them sleep with their fathers ; the other is here, and can be 
ears, mouth, and pen for us. I can say no more ; I am quick- 
ly tired; my voice and limbs tremble. I am glad I live to see 
you and this day; but I shall soon be still and quiet in 

At this council the Nez Perces elected a head chief named 
Ellis, and adopted the following Code of Laws : 

Art. 1. Whoever wilfully takes life shall be hung. 
Art. 2. Whoever burns a dwelling-house shall be hung. 
Art. 8. Whoever burns an out-building shall be imprisoned six months, 
receive fifty lashes, and pay all damages. 
Art. 4. Whoever carelessly burns a house or any property shall pay 

Art. 5. If any one enter a dwelling without permission of the occupant, 
the chiefs shall punish him as they think proper. Public rooms are ex- 

Art. 6. If any one steal, he shall pay back twofold ; and if it be the 
value of a beaver-skin or less, he shall receive twenty-five lashes ; and if 
the value is over a beaver-skin, he shall pay back twofold, and receive 
fifty lashes. 

Art. 7. If any one take a horse and ride it, without permission, or take 
any article and use it, without liberty, he shall pay for the use of it, and 
receive from twenty to fifty lashes, as the chief shall direct. 


Art. 8. If any one enter a field and injure the crops, or throw down the 
fence, so that cattle or horses go in and do damage, he shall pay all dam- 
ages, and receive twenty-five lashes for every offence. 

Art. 9. Those only may keep dogs who travel or live among the game. 
If a dog kill a lamb, calf, or any domestic animal, the owner shall pay the 
damage, and kill the dog. 

Art. 10. If an Indian raise a gun or other weapon against a white man, 
it shall be reported to the chiefs, and they shall punish him. If a white 
man do the same to an Indian, it shall be reported to Dr. White, and he 
shall punish or redress it. 

Art. 11. If an Indian break these laws, he shall be punished by his 
chiefs ; if a white man break them, he shall be reported to the agent, and 
punished at his instance. 


These laws, the agent says, he "proposed one by one, leaving 
them as free to reject as to accept. They were greatly pleased 
with all proposed, but wished a heavier penalty to some, and 
suggested the dog-law, which was annexed." 

In a history of Oregon written by one W. H. Gray, of As- 
toria, we find this Indian agent spoken of as a " notorious 
blockhead." Mr. Gray's methods of mention of all persons 
toward whom he has antagonism or dislike are violent and un- 
dignified, and do not redound either to his credit as a writer 
or his credibility as a witness. But it is impossible to avoid 
the impression that in this instance he was not far from the 
truth. Surely one cannot read, without mingled horror and 
incredulity, this programme of the whipping -post, offered as 
one of the first instalments of the United States Government's 
" kind intentions " toward these Indians ; one of the first prac- 
tical illustrations given them of the kind of civilization the 
United States Government would recommend and introduce. 

We are not surprised to read in another narrative of affairs 
in Oregon, a little later, that " the Indians want pay for being 
whipped, the same as they did for praying to please the mis- 
sionaries during the great revival of 1839. * * * Some of the 
influential men in the tribe desired to know of what benefit 


this whipping-system was going to be to them. They said 
they were willing it should continue, provided they were to 
receive shirts and pants and blankets as a reward for being 
whipped. They had been whipped a good many times, and 
had got nothing for it, and it had done them no good. If this 
state of things was to continue, it was all good for nothing, 
and they would throw it away." 

The Secretary of War does not appear to have seen this 
aspect of his agent's original efforts in the line of jurispru- 
dence. He says of the report which includes this astounding 
code, merely that "it furnishes some deeply interesting and 
curious details respecting certain of the Indian tribes in that 
remote part of our territories," and that the conduct of the 
Nez Perces on the occasion of this important meeting "im- 
presses one most agreeably." 

A report submitted at the same time by the Rev. Mr. Spaul- 
ding, who had lived six years as missionary among the Nez 
Perces, is much pleasanter reading. He says that "nearly all 
the principal men and chiefs are members of the school ; that 
they are as industrious in their schools as on their farms. 
They cultivate their lands with much skill and to good advan- 
tage, and many more would do so if they had the means. 
About one hundred are printing their own books with the 
pen. This keeps up a deep interest, as they daily have new 
lessons to print ; and what they print must be committed to 
memory as soon as possible. A good number are now so far 
advanced in reading and printing as to render much assistance 
in teaching. Their books are taken home at night, and every 
lodge becomes a school-room. Their lessons are Scripture les- 
sons ; no others (except the laws) seem to interest them." 

Even this missionary seems to have fallen under some strange 
glamour on the subject of the whipping-code; for ho adds: 
"The laws which you so happily prepared, and which were 
unanimously adopted by the people, I havo printed in the form 


of a small school-book. A great number of the school now 
read them fluently." 

In the next year's report of the Secretary of War we read 
that "the Nez Perc6 tribe have adopted a few simple and 
plain laws as their code, which will teach them self-restraint, 
and is the beginning of government on their part." The Sec- 
retary also thinks it " very remarkable that there should so 
soon be several well supported, well attended, and well con- 
ducted schools in Oregon." (Not at all remarkable, considering 
that the Congregationalists, the Methodist Episcopalians, and 
the Roman Catholics have all had missionaries at work there 
for eight years.) 

In 1846, the Nez Percys, with the rest of the Oregon tribes, 
disappear from the official records of the Indian Bureau. " It 
will be necessary to make some provision for conducting our 
relations with the Indian tribes west of the Eocky Mountains," 
it is said ; but, "the whole subject having been laid before Con- 
gress, it was not deemed advisable to continue a service that 
was circumscribed in its objects, and originally designed to be 
temporary." The founder of the whipping-post in Oregon was 
therefore relieved from his duties, and it is to be hoped his 
laws speedily fell into disuse. The next year all the Protestant 
missions in Oregon were abandoned, in consequence of the 
frightful massacre by the Cayuses of the missionary families 
living among them.* But the Nez Perces, though deprived of 
their teaching, did not give up the faith and the practice they 
had taught them. Six years later General Benjamin Alvord 
bore the following testimony to their religious character : 

"In the spring of 1853 a white man,who had passed the pre- 
vious winter in the country of the Nez Perc6s, came to the 
military post at the Dalles, and on being questioned as to the 
manners and customs of the tribe, he said that he wintered 

* See Appendix, Art. XTTT. 


with a band of several hundred in number, and that the whole 
party assembled every evening and morning for prayer, the 
exercises being conducted by one of themselves in their own 
language. He stated that on Sunday they assembled for ex- 
hortation and worship." 

In 1851 a superintendent and three agents were appointed 
for Indian service in Oregon. Treaties were negotiated with 
some of the tribes, but they were not ratified, and in 1853 
there was, in consequence, a wide-spread dissatisfaction among 
all the Indians in the region. "They have become distrust- 
ful of all promises made them by the United States," says the 
Oregon superintendent, " and believe the design of the Govern- 
ment is to defer doing anything for them till they have wasted 
away. The settlement of the whites on the tracts which they 
regarded as secured to them by solemn treaty stipulations, re- 
sults in frequent misunderstandings between them and the 
settlers, and occasions and augments bitter animosities and re- 
sentments. I am in almost daily receipt of complaints and pe- 
titions for a redress of wrongs from both parties." 

Governor Stevens, of Washington Territory, in charge of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad Explorations and Survey, wrote, this 
year, " These hitherto neglected tribes, whose progress from 
the wild wanderers of the plains to !kmd and hospitable neigh- 
bors is personally known to you, are entitled, by every consid- 
eration of justice and humanity, to the fatherly care of the 

In Governor Stevens's report is to be found a comprehensive 
and intelligible account of all the Indian tribes in Oregon and 
Washington Territory. The greater part of the Nez Percys' 
country was now within the limits of Washington Territory, 
only a few bands remaining in Oregon. They were estimated 
to number at least eighteen hundred, and were said to be a 
" rich and powerful tribe, owning many horses." Every year 
they crossed the mountains to hunt buffalo on the plains of 
the Missouri. 


In 1855 there was a general outbreak of hostilities on the 
part of the Oregon Indians. Tribe after tribe, even among 
those who had been considered friendly, fell into the ranks of 
the hostiles, and some base acts of treachery were committed. 
The Oregon settlers, menaced with danger on all sides, became 
naturally so excited and terrified that their actions were hasty 
and ill-advised. " They are without discipline, without order, 
and similar to madmen," says one official report. " Every day 
they run off the horses and the cattle of the friendly Indians. 
I will soon no longer be able to restrain the friendly Indians. 
They are indignant at conduct so unworthy of the whites, who 
have made so many promises to respect and protect them if 
they remain faithful friends. I am very sure, if the volunteers 
are not arrested in their brigand actions, our Indians will save 
themselves by flying to the homes of their relations, the Nez 
Percys, who have promised them help ; and then all these In- 
dians of Oregon would join in the common defence until they 
be entirely exterminated." 

It is difficult to do full justice to the moral courage which 
is shown by Indians who remain friendly to whites under such 
circumstances as these. The traditions of their race, the pow- 
erful influence of public sentiment among their relatives and 
friends, and, in addition, terror for their own lives all com- 
bine in times of such outbreaks to draw even the friendliest 
tribes into sympathy and co-operation with those who are 
making war on whites. 

At this time the hostile Indians in Oregon sent word to the Nez 
Percys, "Join us in the war against the whites, or we will wipe 
you out." They said, "We have made the whites run out of the 
country, and we will now make the friendly Indians do the same." 

" What can the friendly Indians do?" wrote the colonel of a 
company of Washington Territory Volunteers ; " they have no 
ammunition, and the whites will give them none ; and the hos- 
tiles say to them, * We have plenty ; come and join us, and save 



your lives.' The Nez Perces are very much alarmed; they 
say, ' We have no ammunition to defend ourselves with if wo 
are attacked. 7 " 

The Oregon superintendent writes to General Wool (in 
command at this time of the Department of the Pacific), im- 
ploring him to send troops to Oregon to protect both friendly 
Indians and white settlers, and to enable this department to 
maintain guarantees secured to these Indians by treaty stipula- 
tions. He says that the friendly Indians are " willing to sub- 
mit to almost any sacrifice to obtain peace, but there may be 
a point beyond which they could not be induced to go without 
a struggle." 

This outbreak terminated after some sharp fighting, and 
about equal losses on both sides, in what the Oregon super* 
intendent calls " a sort of armistice," which left the Indians 
" much emboldened," with the impression on their minds that 
they have the " ability to contend successfully against the en- 
tire white race." 

Moreover, " the non- ratification of the treaties heretofore 
made to extinguish their title to the lands necessary for the 
occupancy and use of our citizens, seems to have produced no 
little disappointment ; and the continued extension of our set- 
tlements into their territory, without any compensation being 
made to them, is a constant source of dissatisfaction and hostile 

" It cannot be expected that Indians situated like those in 
Oregon and Washington Territory, occupying extensive sections 
of country where, from the game and otherwise, they derive a 
comfortable support, will quietly and peaceably submit, without 
any equivalent, to be deprived of their homes and possessions, 
and to be driven off to some other locality where they cannot 
find their usual means of subsistence. Such a proceeding is not 
only contrary to our policy hitherto, but is repugnant alike to 
the dictates of humanity and the principles of natural justice. 

THE NEZ PEBCfe. 115 

" The principle of recognizing and respecting the usufruct 
right of the Indians to the lands occupied by them has not 
been so strictly adhered to in the case of the tribes in the Ter- 
ritories of Oregon and Washington. When a territorial gov- 
ernment was first provided for Oregon which then embraced 
the present Territory of Washington strong inducements were 
held out to our people to emigrate and settle there, without the 
usual arrangements being made in advance for the extinguish- 
ment of the title of the Indians who occupied and claimed the 
lands. Intruded upon, ousted of their homes and possessions 
without any compensation, and deprived in most cases of their 
accustomed means of support, without any arrangement having 
been made to enable them to establish and maintain themselves 
in other locations, it is not a matter of surprise that they have 
committed many depredations upon our citizens, and been ex- 
asperated to frequent acts of hostility." 

As was to be expected, the armistice proved of no avail ; and 
in 1858 the unfortunate Territories had another Indian war on 
their hands. In this war we find the Nez Perces fighting on 
the side of the United States against the hostile Indians. One 
of the detachments of United States troops was saved from de- 
struction only by taking refuge with them. Nearly destitute 
of ammunition, and surrounded by hundreds of hostile Indians, 
the little company escaped by night ; and " after a ride of nine- 
ty miles mostly at a gallop, and without a rest, reached Snake 
River," where they were met by this friendly tribe, who " re- 
ceived them with open arms, succored the wounded men, and 
crossed in safety the whole command over the difficult and 
dangerous river." 

The officer in command of the Nez Perc6 band writes as 
follows, in his report to the Indian Commissioner : 

" Allow me, my dear sir, while this general war is going on, 
to point you to at least a few green spots where the ravages of 
war do not as yet extend, and which thus far are untainted 


and unaffected, with a view of so retaining them that we may 
hereafter point to them as oases in this desert of war. These 
green spots are the Nez Perces, the Flat -heads, and Pend 
d'Oreilles. In this connection I refer with grateful pride to 
an act of Colonel Wright, which embodies views and motives 
which, endorsed and carried out hy the Government, must re- 
dound to his credit and praise, and be the means of building 
up, at no distant day, a bold, brave, warlike, and numerous 

" Before leaving Walla-Walla, Colonel Wright assembled the 
Nez Perc6 people, told them his object was to war with and 
punish our enemies ; but as this great people were and ever 
had been our friends, he wanted their friendship to be as en- 
during as the mountains around which they lived ; and in order 
that no difference of views or difficulty might arise, that their 
mutual promises should be recorded," 

With this view he there made a treaty of friendship with 
them, and thirty of the bravest warriors and chiefs at once mar- 
shalled themselves to accompany him against the enemy. 

When Colonel Wright asked these Indians what they want- 
ed, " their reply was worthy of a noble race ' Peace, ploughs, 
and schools.' " At this time they had no agent appointed to 
attend to their welfare ; they were raising wheat, corn, and 
vegetables with the rude means at their command, and still 
preserved the faith and many of the practices taught them by 
the missionaries thirteen years before. 

In 1859 peace was again established in Oregon, and the In- 
dians "considered as conquered." The treaties of 1855 were 
ratified by the Senate, and this fact went far to restore tran- 
quillity in the territories. Congress was implored by the super- 
intendents to realize "the importance of making the appropria- 
tions for fulfilling those treaty stipulations at the earliest prac- 
ticable moment ;" that it may " prevent the recurrence of an- 
other savage war, necessarily bloody and devastating to our 


settlements, extended under the authority and sanction of our 
Government." With marvellous self-restraint, the superintend- 
ents do not enforce their appeals by a reference to the fact that, 
if the treaties had been fulfilled in the outset, all the hostilities 
of the last four years might probably have been avoided. 

The reservation secured to the Nez Percys was a fine tract 
of country, one hundred miles long and sixty in width well 
watered, timbered, and of great natural resources. Already the 
Indians had begun to practice irrigation in their fields; had 
large herds of horses, and were beginning to give attention to 
improving the breed. Some of them could read and write 
their own language, and many of them professed Christianity, 
and were exemplary in their conduct a most remarkable fact, 
proving the depth of the impression the missionary teachings 
must have made. The majority of them wore the American 
costume, and showed " their progress in civilization by attach- 
ing little value to the gewgaws and trinkets which so generally 
captivate the savage." 

In less than two years the peace of this noble tribe was 
again invaded ; this time by a deadly foe the greed of gold. 
In 1861 there were said to be no less than ten thousand miners 
in the Nez Perc6 country prospecting for gold. Now arose 
the question, What will the Government do 3 Will it protect 
the rights of the Indians or not ? 

" To attempt to restrain miners would be like attempting to 
restrain the whirlwind," writes the superintendent of Washing- 
ton Territory ; and he confesses that, " seeing the utter impossi- 
bility of preventing miners from going to the mines," he has 
refrained from taking any steps which, by a certain want of 
success, would tend to weaken the force of the law. 

For the next few years the Nez Percys saw with dismay the 
steady stream of settlers pouring into their country. That 
they did not resist it by force is marvellous, and can only be 
explained by the power of a truly Christian spirit. 


" Their reservation was overrun by the enterprising miners ; 
treaty stipulations were disregarded and trampled under foot; 
towns were established thereon, and all the means that cupid- 
ity could invent or disloyalty achieve were resorted to to shake 
their confidence in the Government. They were disturbed in 
the peaceable possession of what they regarded as their vested 
rights, sacredly secured by treaty. They were informed that 
the Government was destroyed, and that whatever treaties were 
made would never be carried out. All resistance on their part 
proved unavailing, and inquietude and discontent predominated 
among them," says the Governor of Idaho, in 1865. Shortly 
after, by the organization of that new Territory, the Nez 
Perces' reservation had been removed from the jurisdiction of 
Washington Territory to that of Idaho. 

A powerful party was organized in the tribe, advocating the 
forming of a league with the Crows and Blackfeet against the 
whites. The non-arrival of promised supplies; the non-pay- 
ment of promised moneys; the unchecked influx of miners 
throughout the reservation, put strong weapons into the hands 
of these disaffected ones. But the chiefs " remained firm and 
unwavering in their devotion to the Government and the laws. 
They are intelligent their head chief, Sawyer, particularly so 
and tell their people to still wait patiently." And yet, at 
this very time, there was due from the United States Gov- 
ernment to this chief Sawyer six hundred and twenty -five 
dollars I He had for six months been suffering for the com- 
monest necessaries of life, and had been driven to disposing of 
his vouchers at fifty cents on the dollar to purchase necessa- 
ries. The warriors also, who fought for us so well in 1856, 
were still unpaid ; although in the seventh article of the treaty 
of 1863 it had been agreed that " the claims of certain members 
of the Nez Perc6 tribe against the Government, for services 
rendered and horses furnished by them to the Oregon Mount- 
ed Volunteers, as appears by certificates issued by W. H. Faunt- 


leroy, Acting Regimental Quartermaster, and commanding. Or- 
egon Volunteers, on the 6th of March, 1856, at Carnp Corne- 
lius, and amounting to $4665, shall be paid to them in full in 
gold coin." 

How many communities of \vhite men would remain peace- 
able, loyal, and friendly under such a strain as this? 

In 1866 the Indian Bureau report of the state of our diplo- 
matic relations with the Nez Percys is that the treaty con- 
cluded with them in 1863 was ratified by the Senate, " with an 
amendment which awaited the action of the Indians. The 
ratification of this treaty has been delayed for several years for 
various reasons, partly arising from successive changes in the 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Idaho, whose varying opin- 
ions on the subject of the treaty have caused doubts in the 
minds of senators. A later treaty had been made, but, on 
careful consideration of the subject, it was deemed advisable to 
carry into effect that of 1863. The Nez Percys claimed title 
to a very large district of country comprised in what are now 
organized as Oregon, "Washington, and Idaho, but principally 
within the latter Territory ; and already a large white popula- 
tion is pressing upon them in the search for gold. They are 
peaceable, industrious, and friendly, and altogether one of the 
most promising of the tribes west of the Rocky Mountains, 
having profited largely by the labors of missionaries among 

By the , treaty ratified in this year they give up ". all their 
lands except a reservation defined by certain natural bounda- 
ries, and agree to remove to this reservation within one year. 
Where they have improvements on lands outside of it, such 
improvements are to be appraised and paid for. The tillable, 
lands are to be surveyed into tracts of twenty acres each, and 
allotted -to such Indians as desire to hold lands in severalty. 
The Government is to continue the anntftties due under former 
treaties, and, in addition, pay the tribe, or expend for them for 


certain specific purposes having their improvement in view, 
the sum of $262,500, and a moderate sum is devoted to 
homes and salaries for chiefs. The right of way is secured 
through the reservation, and the Government undertakes to 
reserve all important springs and watering-places for public 

In this same year the Governor of Idaho writes, in his an- 
nual report to the Department of the Interior: "Prominent 
among the tribes of Northern Idaho stand the Nez Perces, a 
majority of whom boast that they have ever been the faith- 
ful friends of the white man. But a few over half of the en- 
tire tribe of the Nez Percys are under treaty. The fidelity of 
those under treaty, even under the most discouraging circum- 
stances, must commend itself to the favorable consideration of 
the Department. The non-payment of their annuities has had 
its natural effect on the minds of some of those under treaty ; 
but their confiding head chief, Sawyer, remains unmoved, and 
on all occasions is found the faithful apologist for any failure 
of the Government Could this tribe have been kept aloof 
from the contaminating vices of white men, and had it been in 
the power of the Government promptly to comply with the 
stipulations of the treaty of 1855, there can be no doubt but 
that their condition at this time would have been a most pros- 
perous one, and that the whole of the Nez Perc6 nation would 
by this time have been willing to come under treaty, and settle 
on the reservation with those already there." 

In 1867 the patience of the Nez Perces is beginning to show 
signs of wearing out. the Governor of Idaho writes : " This 
disaffection is great, and serious trouble is imminent. It could 
all be settled by prompt payment by the Government of their 
just dues ; but if delayed too long I greatly fear open hostilities. 
They have been patient, but promises and explanations are los- 
ing force with them now. * * * Their grievances are urged with 
such earnestness that even Sawyer, who has always been our 


apologist, has in a measure abandoned his pacific policy, and 
asks boldly that we do them justice. * * * Even now it may not 
be too late ; but, if neglected, war may be reasonably expected. 
Should the Nez Perces strike a blow, all over our Territory 
and around our boundaries will blaze the signal-fires and gleam 
the tomahawks of the savages Kootenays, Pen d'Oreilles, Coeur 
d'Alenes, Blackfeet, Flat-heads, Spokanes, Pelouses, Bannocks, 
and Shoshones will be involved." 

This disaffection, says the agent, " began to show itself soon 
after the visit of George C. Haigh, Esq., special agent, last De- 
cember, to obtain their assent to the amendments to the treaty 
of June 9th, 1863 the non-ratification of that treaty had gone 
on so long, and promises made them by Governor Lyon that it 
would not be ratified, and that he was authorized to make a 
.new treaty with them by which they would retain all of their 
country, as given them under the treaty of 1851, except the 
site of the town of Lewiston. They had also been informed 
in March, 1866, that Governor Lyon would be here in the June 
following, to pay them back-annuities due under the treaty of 
1855. The failure to carry out these promises, and the idea 
they have that the stipulations of the treaty of 1863 will be 
carried out in the same manner, is one of the causes of their 
bad feeling. It showed itself plainly at the council lately held, 
and is on the increase. If there is the same delay in carrying 
out the stipulations of the treaty of 1863 that there has been 
in that of 1855, some of the chiefs with their bands will join 
the hostile Indians. There are many is impossible to 
explain to them. They cannot understand why the $1185 that 
was promised by Governor Lyon to the Indian laborers on the 
church is not paid. He told them when the walls were up 
they should receive their pay. These laborers were poor men, 
and such inducements were held out to them that they com* 
menced the work in good faith, with the full expectation of re- 
ceiving their pay when their labors ceased." 


The head chief Sawyer's pay is still in arrears. For the last 
quarter of 1863, and the first and second of 1864, he has re- 
ceived no pay. No wonder he Las ceased to be the " apolo- 
gist" of the Government, which four years ago promised him 
an annuity of $500 a year. 

Spite of this increasing disaffection the Nez Perces are in- 
dustrious and prosperous. They raised in this year 15,000 
bushels of wheat. " Many of them carried their wheat to be 
ground to the mills, -while many sold the grain to packers for 
feed, while much of it is boiled whole for food. Some few of 
the better class have had their wheat ground, and sold the flour 
in the mining-camps at lower prices than packers could lay it 
down in the camps. Some have small pack-trains running 
through the summer; one in particular, Cru-cru-lu-ye, runs 
some fifteen animals; he sometimes packs for whites, and 
again runs on his own account. A Clearwater Station mer- 
chant a short time ago informed me of his buying some oats 
of Cru-cru-lu-ye last fall. After the grain had been weighed, 
and emptied out of the sacks, the Indian brought the empty 
sa-cks to the scales to have them weighed, and the tare deducted, 
saying he only wanted pay for the oats. Their sales of melons, 
tomatoes, corn, potatoes, squashes, green pease, etc., during the 
summer, in the different towns and mining-camps, bring in some 
$2000 to $3000. Their stock of horses and cattle is increasing 
fast, and with the benefits to be derived from good American 
stallions, and good bulls and cows, to be distributed to them 
under the stipulations of the treaty of 1863, they will rapidly 
increase in wealth." 

In 1869 their reservation is still unsurveyed, and when the 
Indians claim that white settlers are establishing themselves in- 
side the lines there is no way of proving it, and the agent says 
all he can do is to promise that " the white man's heart shall 
be better ;" and thus the matter will rest until another disturb- 
ance arises, when the same complaints are made, and the same 


answers given as before that " the white man's heart shall be 
better, and the boundary-line shall be surveyed." 

Other treaty stipulations are still unfulfilled ; and the non- 
treaty party, while entirely peaceable, is very strong, and im' 
movably opposed to treaties. 

In 1870, seven years after it was promised, the long deferred 
survey of the reservation was made. The superintendent and 
the agent both remonstrated, but in vain, against the manner in 
which it was done; and three years later a Board of Special 
Commissioners, appointed to inquire into the condition of the 
Indians in Idaho, examined the fence put up at that time, and 
reported that it was " a most scandalous fraud. It is a post- 
and-board fence. The posts are not well set. Much of the lum- 
ber is deficient in width and length. The posts are not dressed. 
The lumber laps at any joint where it may chance to meet, 
whether on the posts or between them, and the boards are not 
jointed on the posts where they meet; they are lapped and 
fastened generally with one nail, so that they are falling down 
rapidly. The lumber was cut on the reservation. The con- 
tract price of the fence was very high ; the fencing done in 
places of no value to any one, for the reason that water cannot 
be had for irrigation. The Government cannot be a party to 
such frauds on the people who intrust it with their property." 

In this year a commission was sent to Oregon to hold coun- 
cil with the band of Nez Perces occupying Wallowa Valley, in 
Oregon, " with a view to their removal, if practicable, to the 
Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. They reported this removal 
to be impracticable, and the "Wallowa Valley has been with- 
drawn from sale, and set apart for their use and occupation by 
Executive order."* 

This commission report that one of the most troublesome 
questions in the way of the Government's control of Indian af- 

* Report of the Secretary of the Interior for 1878. 


fairs in Idaho is the contest between the Catholic and Protes- 
tant churches. This strife is a great detriment to the Indians. 
To illustrate this, they quote Chief Joseph's reason for not 
wishing schools on his reservation. He was the chief of the 
non-treaty band of Nez Perces occupying the Wallowa Valley, 
in Oregon : 

" Do you want schools and school-houses on the Wallowa 
Reservation ?" asked the commissioners. 

Joseph. "No, we do not want schools or school-houses on 
the Wallowa Reservation." 

Com. "Why do you not want schools?" 

Joseph. "They will teach us to have churches." 

Com. " Do you not want churches 3" 

Joseph. " No, we do not want churches." 

Com. " Why do you not want churches ?" 

Joseph. "They will teach us to quarrel about Q-od, as the 
Catholics and Protestants do on the Nez Perc6 Reservation, 
and at other places. We do not want to learn that. We may 
quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth, but we 
never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn that." 

Great excitement prevailed among the settlers in Oregon at 
the cession of the Wallowa Valley to the Indians. The pres- 
ence of United States soldiers prevented any outbreak ; but the 
resentment of the whites was very strong, and threats were 
openly made that the Indians should not be permitted to oc- 
cupy it; and in 1875 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs 
writes : 

" The settlements made in the Wallowa Valley, which has 
for years been the pasture-ground of the large herds of horses 
owned by Joseph's band, will occasion more or less trouble 
between this band and the whites, until Joseph is induced or 
compelled to settle on his reservation." 

It is only two years since this valley was set apart by Execu- 
tive order for the use and occupation of these Indians; already 


the Department is contemplating " compelling " them to leave 
it and go to the reservation in Idaho. There were stormy 
scenes there also during this year. Suits were brought against 
all the employes of the Lapwai Agency, and a claim set up for 
all the lands of the agency, and for many of the Indian farms, 
by one Langf ord, representing the old claim of the missionaries, 
to whom a large tract of ground had been ceded some thirty 
years before. He attempted to take forcible possession of the 
place, and was ejected finally by military force, after the de- 
cision of the Attorney-general had been given that his claim 
was invalid. 

The Indian Bureau recommended a revocation of the execu- 
tive order giving the Wallowa Valley to Joseph and his band. 
In June of this year President Grant revoked the order, and 
in the autumn a commission was sent out " to visit these In- 
dians, with a view to secure their permanent settlement on the 
reservation, their early entrance on a civilized life, and to adjust 
the difficulties then existing between them and the settlers." 

It is worth while to study with some care the reasons which 
this commission gave to Chief Joseph why the Wallowa Val- 
ley, which had been given to him by Executive order in 1873, 
must be taken away from him by Executive order in 1875 : 

" Owing to the coldness of the climate, it is not a suitable 
location for an Indian reservation. * * * It is now in part set- 
tled by white squatters for grazing purposes. * * * The Presi- 
dent claimed that he extinguished the Indian title to it by the 
treaty of 1863. * * * It is embraced within the limits of the 
State of Oregon. * * * The State of Oregon could not prob- 
ably be induced to cede the jurisdiction of the valley to the 
United States for an Indian reservation. * * * In the conflicts 
which might arise in the future, as in the past, between him 
and the whites, the President rpight not be able to justify or 
defend Lira. * * * A part of the valley had already been sur- 
veyed and opened to settlement : * * * if, by some arrange- 


inent, the white settlers in the valley could be induced to leave 
it, others would come." 

To all these statements Joseph replied that he " asked noth- 
ing of the President. He was able to take care of himself. He 
did not desire Wallow a Valley as a reservation, for that would 
subject him and his band to the will of, and dependence on, 
another, and to laws not of their own making. He was dis- 
posed to live peaceably. He and his band had suffered wrong 
rather than do wrong. One of their number was wickedly 
slain by a white man during the last summer, but he would 
not avenge his death." 

" The serious and feeling manner in which he uttered these 
sentiments was impressive," the commissioners say, and they 
proceeded to reply to him " that the President was not dis- 
posed to deprive him of any just right, or govern him by his 
individual will, but merely subject him to the same just and 
equal laws by which he himself as well as all his people were 

What does it mean when commissioners sent by the Presi- 
dent to induce a band of Indians to go on a reservation to live, 
tell them that they shall be subjected on that reservation 
" merely to the same just and equal laws " by which the Pres- 
ident and " all his people are ruled ?" And still more, what is 
the explanation of their being so apparently unaware of the 
enormity of the lie that they leave it on official record, signed 
by their names in full ? It is only explained, as thousands of 
other things in the history of our dealings with the Indians 
are only to be explained, by the habitual indifference, careless- 
ness, and inattention with which questions relative to Indian 
affairs and legislation thereon are handled and disposed of, in 
whatever way seems easiest and shortest for the time being. 
The members of this commission knew perfectly well that the 
instant Joseph and his band moved on to the reservation they 
became subject to laws totally different from those by which 


the President and "all his people were ruled," and neither 
" just " nor " equal :" laws forbidding them to go beyond cer- 
tain bounds without a pass from the agent ; laws making them 
really just as much prisoners as convicts in a prison the only 
difference being that the reservation is an un walled out-of- 
door prison ; laws giving that agent power to summon milita- 
ry power at any moment, to enforce any command he might 
choose to lay on them, and to shoot them if they refused to 
obey.* " The same just and equal laws by which the President 
himself and all his people are ruled!" Truly it is a psychologi- 
cal phenomenon that four men should be found willing to leave 
it on record under their own signatures that they said this thing. 

Farther on in the same report there is an enumeration of 
some of the experiences which the Nez Perces who are on the 
Idaho Keservation have had of the advantages of living there, 
and of the manner in which the Government has fulfilled its 
promises by which it induced them to go there ; undoubtedly 
these were all as well known to Chief Joseph as to the com- 
missioners. For twenty-two years he had had an opportunity 
to study the workings of the reservation policy. They say : 

"During an interview held with the agent and the treaty 
Indians, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there were suf- 
ficient unoccupied tillable lands for Joseph's band on the res- 
ervation, and for the further purpose of securing their co-oper- 
ation to aid us in inducing Joseph to come upon the reserva- 
tion, facts were brought to our attention of a failure on the 
part of the Government to fulfil its treaty stipulations with 
these Indians. The commission therefore deem it their duty 
to call the attention of the Government to this subject. 

" 1st. Article second of the treaty of June 9th, 1863, provides 
that no white man excepting such as may be employed by the 

* Witness the murder of Big Snake on the Ponca Keservation, Indian 
Territory, in the summer of 1879. 


Indian Department shall be permitted to reside upon the res- 
ervation without permission of the tribe, and the superintend- 
ent and the agent. Nevertheless, four white men are occupy- 
ing or claiming large tracts on the reservation. 

"It is clearly the duty of the Government to adjust and 
quiet these claims, and remove the parties from the reserva- 
tion. Each day's delay to fulfil this treaty stipulation adds to 
the distrust of the Indians in the good faith of the Govern- 

" 2d. Article third of the same treaty of 1863 provides for the 
survey of the land suitable for cultivation into lots of twenty 
acres each ; while a survey is reported to have been early made, 
no measures were then, or have been since, taken to adjust farm 
limits to the lines of the surveyed lots. 

" 3d. Rules and regulations for continuing the possession of 
these lots and the improvements thereon in the families of de- 
ceased Indians, have not been prescribed, as required by the 

" 4th. It is also provided that certificates or deeds for such 
tracts shall be issued to individual Indians. 

" The failure of the Government to comply with this impor- 
tant provision of the treaty causes much uneasiness among the 
Indians, who are little inclined to spend their labor and means 
in improving ground held by the uncertain tenure of the pleas- 
ure of an agent. 

" 5th. Article seventh of the treaty provides for a payment 
of four thousand six hundred and sixty-five dollars in gold coin 
to them for services and horses furnished the Oregon Mounted 
Volunteers in 1856. It is asserted by the Indians that this 
provision of the treaty has hitherto been disregarded by the 

The commissioners say that " every consideration of justice 
and equity, as well as expediency, demands from the Govern- 
ment a faithful and literal compliance with all its treaty obli- 


gations toward the Indians. A failure to do this is looked 
upon as bad faitb, and can be productive of only bad re- 

At last Chief Joseph consented to remove from the Wallowa 
Valley with his band, and go to the Lapwai Reservation. The 
incidents of the council in which this consent was finally 
wrung from him, are left on record in Chief Joseph's own 
words, in an article written by him (through an interpreter) 
and published in the North American Review in 1874. It is 
a remarkable contribution to Indian history. 

It drew out a reply from General 0. 0. Howard, who called 
his paper " The true History of the Wallowa Campaign ;" pub- 
lished in the North American Review two months after Chief 
Joseph's paper. 

Between the accounts given by General Howard and by 
Chief Joseph of the events preceding the Nez Perce war, there 
are noticeable discrepancies. 

General Howard says that he listened to the "oft -repeated 
dreamer nonsense of the chief ,' Too-hool-hool-suit,' with no 
impatience, but finally said to him : ' Twenty times over I hear 
that the earth is your mother, and about the chieftainship of 
the earth. I want to hear it no more.' " 

Chief Joseph says : " General Howard lost his temper, and 
said * Shut up I I don't want to hear any more of such 

" Too-hool-hool-suit answered, * Who are you, that you ask 
ns to talk, and then tell me I sha'n't talk? Are you the Great 
Spirit? Did you make the world?' " 

General Howard, quoting from his record at the time, says: 
" The rough old fellow, in his most provoking tone, says some- 
thing in a short sentence, looking fiercely at me. The inter- 
preter quickly says : l He demands what person pretends to di- 
vide this land, and put me on it ?' In the most decided voice 
I said, * I am the man. I stand here for the President, and 



there is no spirit, bad or good, that will hinder me. My orders 
are plain, and will be executed.' " 

Chief Joseph says: "General Howard replied, * You are an 
impudent fellow, and I will put you in the guard-house,' and 
then ordered a soldier to arrest him." 

General Howard says : " After telling the Indians that this 
bad advice would be their ruin, I asked the chiefs to go with 
me to look at their land. c The old man (Too-hool-hool-suit) 
shall not go. I will leave him with Colonel Perry.' He says, 
1 Do you want to scare me with reference to my body I said, 
4 1 will leave your body with Colonel Perry.' I then arose and 
led him out of the council, and gave him into the charge of 
Colonel Perry." 

Chief Joseph says : " Too-hool-hool-suit made no resistance. 
He asked General Howard, 'Is that your order? I don't care. 
I have expressed my heart to you. I have nothing to take 
back. I have spoken for my country. You can arrest me, but 
you cannot change me, or make me take back what I have 
said.' The soldiers came forward and seized my friend, and 
took him to the guard - house. My men whispered among 
themselves whether they should let this thing be done. I 
counselled them to submit. * * * Too-hool-hool-suit was pris- 
oner for five days before he was released." 

General Howard, it will be observed, does not use the word 
" arrested," but as he says, later, " Too-hool-hool-suit was re- 
leased on the pledge of Looking-glass and White Bird, and on 
his own earnest promise to behave better," it is plain that Chief 
Joseph did not misstate the facts. This Indian chief, therefore, 
was put under military arrest, and confined for five days, for 
uttering what General Howard calls a " tirade " in a council to 
which the Indians had been asked to come for the purpose of 
consultation and expression of sentiment. 

Does not Chief Joseph speak common-sense, as well as natu- 
ral feeling, in saying, " I turned to my pcoplo and said, ' The 


arrest of Too-hool-hool-suit was wrong, but we will not resent 
the insult. We were invited to this council to express our 
hearts, and we have done so.' " 

If such and so swift penalty as this, for " tirades " in council, 
were the law of our land, especially in the District of Columbia, 
it would be " no just cause of complaint " when Indians suffer 
it. But considering the frequency, length, and safety of "ti- 
rades" in all parts of America, it seems unjust not to permit 
Indians to deliver them. However, they do come under the 
head of " spontaneous productions of the soil ;" and an Indian 
on a reservation is "invested with no such proprietorship" in 
anything which comes under that head.* 

Chief Joseph and his band consented to move. Chief Joseph 
says : " I said in my heart that, rather than have war, I would 
give up my country. I would give up my father's grave. I 
would give up everything rather than have the blood of white 
men upon the hands of my people." 

It was not easy for Joseph to bring his people to consent to 
move. The young men wished to fight. It has been told that, 
at this time, Chief Joseph rode one day through his village, 
with a revolver in each hand, saying he would shoot the first 
one of his warriors that resisted the Government. Finally, they 
gathered all the stock they could find, and began the move. A 
storm came, and raised the river so high that some of the cat- 
tle could not be taken across. Indian guards were put in charge 
of the cattle left behind. White men attacked these guards 
and took the cattle. After this Joseph could no longer restrain 
his men, and the warfare began, which lasted over two months. 
It was a masterly campaign on the part of the Indians, They 
were followed by General Howard ; they had General Crook 
on their right, and General Miles in front, but they were not 
once hemmed in ; and, at last, when they surrendered at Beat 

* Annual Report of the Indian Commissioner for 1878, p. 6&. 


Paw Mountain, in the Montana Hills, it was not because they 
were beaten, but because, as Joseph says, " I could not bear to 
see my wounded men and women suffer any longer ; we had 
lost enough already. * * * We could have escaped from Bear 
Paw Mountain if we had left our wounded, old women and 
children, behind. We were unwilling to do this. We had 
never heard of a wounded Indian recovering while in the hands 
of white men. * * * I believed General Miles, or I never would 
have surrendered. I have heard that he has been censured for 
making the promise to return us to Lapwai. He could not 
have made any other terms with me at that time. I could 
have held him in check until my friends came to my assistance, 
and then neither of the generals nor their soldiers would ever 
have left Bear Paw Mountain alive. On the fifth day I went 
to General Miles and gave up my gun, and said, * From where 
the sun now stands, I will fight no more.' My people needed 
rest ; we wanted peace." 

The terms of this surrender were shamefully violated. Joseph 
and his band were taken first to Fort Leavenworth and then to 
the Indian Territory. At Leavenworth they were placed in the 
river bottom, with no water but the river water to drink. 

" Many of my people sickened and died, and we buried them 
in this strange land," says Joseph. " I cannot tell how much 
my heart suffered for my people while at Leavenworth. The 
Great Spirit Chief who rules above seemed to be looking some 
other way, and did not see what was being done to my people." 

Yet with a marvellous magnanimity, and a clear-headed sense 
of justice of which few men would be capable under the cir- 
cumstances, Joseph says: "I believe General Miles would have 
kept his word if he could have done so. I do not blame him 
for what we have suffered since the surrender. I do not know 
who is to blame. We gave up all our horses, over eleven hun- 
dred, and all our saddles, over one hundred, and we have not 
heard from them since. Somebody has got our horses." 


This narrative of Chief Joseph's is profoundly touching; a 
very Iliad of tragedy, of dignified and hopeless sorrow ; and it 
stands supported by the official records of the Indian Bureau. 

"After the arrival of Joseph and his hand in Indian Territo- 
ry, the had effect of their location at Fort Leaven worth mani- 
fested itself in the prostration by sickness at one time of two 
hundred and sixty out of the four hundred and ten ; and ' with- 
in a few months ' in the death of * more than one-quarter of the 
entire number.' "* 

"It will be borne in mind that Joseph has never made a 
treaty with the United States, and that he has never surrendered 
to the Government the lands he claimed to own in Idaho. * * * 
Joseph and his followers have shown themselves to be brave 
men and skilful soldiers, who, with one exception, have ob- 
served the rules of civilized warfare. * * * These Indians were 
encroached upon by white settlers, on soil they believed to be 
their own, and when these encroachments became intolerable, 
they were compelled in their own estimation to take up 

Chief Joseph and a remnant of his band are still in Indian 
Territory, waiting anxiously the result of the movement now 
being made by the Ponca chief, Standing Bear, and his friends 
and legal- advisers, to obtain from the Supreme Court a decision 
which will extend the protection of the civil law to every In- 
dian in the country. 

Of the remainder of the Nez Percys (those who are on the 
Lapwai Reservation), the report of the Indian Bureau for 1879 
is that they " support themselves entirely without subsistence 
from the Government ; procure of their own accord, and at 
their own expense, wagons, harness, and other farming imple- 
ments beyond the amount furnished by the Government undei 

* Annual Report of the Indian Commissioner for 18Y8, p. 83. 
f Same Report, p. 84. 


their treaty," and that " as many again as were taught were 
turned away from school for lack of room." 

The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions has contributed 
during this year $1750 for missionary wort among them, and 
the Indians themselves have raised $125. 

Their reservation is thus described : " The majority of land 
comprising the reservation is a vast rolling prairie, affording 
luxuriant pasturage for thousands of their cattle and horses. 
The Clearwater Eiver, flowing as it does directly through the 
reserve, branching out in the North, Middle, and South Forks, 
greatly benefits their locations that they have taken in the val- 
leys lying between such river and the bluffs of the higher land, 
forming in one instance at Kaimaih one of the most pictu- 
resque locations to be found in the whole North-west. Situated 
in a valley on either side of the South Fork, in length about 
six miles, varying in width from one-half to two miles; in form 
like a vast amphitheatre, surrounded on all sides by nearly per- 
pendicular bluffs rising two thousand feet in height, it forms 
one of the prettiest valleys one can imagine. A view from the 
bluff reveals a living panorama, as one sees the vast fields of 
waving grain surrounding well-built and tasty cottages adorned 
with porches, and many of the conveniences found among in- 
dustrious whites. The sight would lead a stranger, not knowing 
of its inhabitance by Indians, to inquire what prosperous white 
settlement was located here. It is by far the most advanced in 
the ways of civilization and progress of any in the Territory, 
if not on the coast." 

How long will the white men of Idaho permit Indians to oc- 
cupy so fair a domain as this? The small cloud, no larger 
than a man's hand, already looms on their horizon. The clos- 
ing paragraph of this (the last) report from the Nez Percys is : 

" Some uneasiness is manifest about stories set afloat by ren- 
egade whites, in relation to their treatment at the expiration of 
their treaty next July, but I have talked the matter over, and 


they "will wait patiently to see the action on the part of the 
Government. They are well civilized ; but one mistake on the 
part of the Government at this time would destroy the effects 
of the past thirty years' teachings. Give them time and atten- 
tion ; they will astonish their most zealous friends in their 
progress toward civilization." 




THE word Sioux is a contraction from the old French word 
" Nadonessioux," or " Enemies," the name given by the French 
traders to this most powerful and warlike of all the North-west- 
ern tribes. They called themselves "Dakota," or "many in 
one," because so many bands under different names were joined 
together. At the time of Captain Carver's travels among the 
North American Indians there were twelve known bands of 
these " Nadouwessies." They entertained the captain most 
hospitably for seven months during the winter of I766~"f ; 
adopted him as one of their chiefs ; and when the time came 
for him to depart, three hundred of them accompanied him 
for a distance on his journey, and took leave with expres- 
sions of friendship for him, and good-will toward the Great 
Father, the English king, of whom he had told them. The 
chiefs wished him to say to the king "how much we desire 
that traders may be sent to abide among us with such things 
as we need, that the hearts of our young men, our wives, and 
children may be made glad. And may peace subsist between 
us so long as the sun, the moon, the earth, and the waters shall 
endure ;" and "acquaint the Great King how much the Nadou- 
wessies wish to be counted among his good children."* 

Nothing in all the history of the earliest intercourse between 
the friendly tribes of North American Indians and the Euro- 
peans coming among them is more pathetic than the accounts 
of their simple hospitality, their unstinted invitations, and their 


guileless expressions of desire for a greater knowledge of the 
white men's ways. 

When that saintly old bigot, Father Hennepin, sailed up the 
Illinois River, in 1680, carrying his "portable chapel," chalice, 
and chasuble, and a few holy wafers " in a steel box, shut very 
close," going to teach the savages " the knowledge of the Cap- 
tain of Heaven and Earth, and to use fire-arms, and several 
other things relating to their advantage," the Illinois were so 
terrified that, although they were several thousand strong, they 
took to flight "with horrid cries and bowlings." On being 
reassured by signs and words of friendliness, they slowly re- 
turned some, however, not until three or four days had passed. 
Then they listened to the good man's discourses with " great 
attention ; afterward gave a great shout for joy," and " ex- 
pressed a great gratitude ;" and, the missionaries being foot- 
sore from long travel, the kindly creatures fell to rubbing their 
legs and feet "with oil of bears, and grease of wild oxen, 
which after much travel is an incomparable refreshment ; and 
presented us some flesh to eat, putting the three first morsels 
into our mouths with great ceremonies." 

It was a pity that Father Hennepin had no more tangible 
benefit than the doctrine of the "efficacy of the Sacraments" to 
communicate to the hospitable Illinois in return for their heal- 
ing ointments. Naturally they did not appreciate this, and he 
proceeded on his way disheartened by their "brutish stupid- 
ity," but consoling himself, however, with the thought of the 
infants he had baptized. Hearing of the death of one of them, 
he says he is "glad it had pleased God to take this little -Chris- 
tian out of the world," and he attributed his own " preservation 
amidst the greatest dangers" afterward to "the care he took 
for its baptism." Those dangers were, indeed, by no means in- 
considerable, as he and his party were taken prisoners by a 
roaming party of these Indians, called in the Father's quaint 

old book " Nadouwessians." He was forced to accompany 



them on their expeditions, and was in daily danger of being 
murdered by the more riotous and hostile members of the 
band. lie found these savages on the whole "good-natured 
men, affable, civil, and obliging," and he was indebted for his 
life to the good-will of one of the chiefs, who protected him 
again and again at no inconsiderable danger to himself. The 
only evidence of religion among the Nadouwessies which he 
mentions is that they never began to smoke without first hold- 
ing the pipe up to the sun, saying, " Smoke, sun 1" They also 
offered to the sun the best part of every beast they killed, car- 
rying it afterward to the cabin of their chief ; from which Fa- 
ther Hennepin concluded that they had " a religious veneration 
for the sun." 

The diplomatic relations between the United States Govern- 
ment and the Sioux began in the year 1815. In that year and 
the year following we made sixteen " treaties " of peace and 
friendship with different tribes of Indians treaties demanding 
no cessions of land beyond the original grants which had been 
made by these tribes to the English, French, or Spanish govern- 
ments, but confirming those to the United States ; promising 
" perpetual peace," and declaring that " every injury or act of 
hostility committed by one or other of the contracting parties 
shall be mutually forgiven and forgot." Three of these treaties 
were made with bands of the Sioux one of them with " the 
Sioux of the Leaf, the Sioux of the Broad Leaf, and the Sioux 
who shoot in the Pine-tops." 

In 1825 four more treaties were made with separate Sioux 
bands. By one of those treaties that of Prairie du Chien 
boundaries were defined between the Chippewas and the Sioux, 
and it was hoped that their incessant feuds might be brought 
to an end. This hostility had continued unabated from the 
time of the earliest travellers in the country, and the Sioux had 
been slowly but steadily driven south and west by the victo- 
rious Chippewas. A treaty could not avail very much toward 


keeping peace between such ancient enemies as these. Fight- 
ing went on as before ; and white traders, being exposed to the 
attacks of all war-parties, suffered almost more than the Indians 
themselves. The Government consoled itself for this spectacle 
of bloody war, which it was powerless to prevent, by the 
thought that the Indians would " probably fight on until some 
one or other of the tribes shall become too reduced and feeble 
to carry on the war, when it will be lost as a separate power " 
an equivocal bit of philosophizing which was unequivocally 
stated in these precise words in one of the annual reports of 
the War Department. 

In the third Article of the next treaty, also at Prairie du 
Chien, in 1830, began the trouble which has been from that 
day to this a source of never ending misunderstanding and of 
many fierce outbreaks on the part of the Sioux. Four of the 
bands by this article ceded and relinquished to the United 
States " forever" a certain tract of country between the Missis- 
sippi and the Des Moines River. In this, and in a still further 
cession, two other bands of Sioux, who were not fully repre- 
sented at the council, must join ; also, some four or five other 
tribes. Landed and "undivided" estate, owned in common by 
dozens of families, would be a very difficult thing to parcel out 
and transfer among white men to-day, with the best that fair 
intentions and legal skill combined could do ; how much more 
so in those days of unsurveyed forests, unexplored rivers, 
owned and occupied in common by dozens of bands of wild 
and ignorant Indians, to be communicated with only by inter- 
preters. Misconstructions and disputes about boundaries would 
have been inevitable, even if there had been all possible fair- 
mindedness and good-will on both sides ; but in this case there 
was only unfairmindedness on one side, and unwillingness on 
the other. All the early makers of treaties with the Indians 
congratulated themselves and the United States on the getting 
of acres of valuable land by the million for next to nothing, 


and, as years went on, openly lamented that " the Indians were 
beginning to find out what lands were worth ;" while the In- 
dians, anxious, alarmed, hostile at heart, seeing themselves hard- 
er and harder pressed on all sides, driven "to provide other 
sources for supplying their wants besides those of hunting, 
which must soon entirely fail them,"* yielded mile after mile 
with increasing sense of loss, which they were powerless to pre- 
vent, and of resentment which it would have been worse than 
impolitic for them to show. 

The first annuities promised to the Sioux were promised by 
this treaty 3000 annually for ten years to the Yankton and 
Santee bands; to the other four, $2000. The Yankton and 
San tee bands were to pay out of their annuity $100 yearly to 
the Otoes, because part of some land which was reserved for 
the half-breeds of the tribe had originally belonged to the 
Otoes. "A blacksmith, at the expense of the United States; 
also, instruments for agricultural purposes ; and iron and steel 
to the amount of $700 annually for ten years to some of the 
bands, and to the amount of $400 to the others ; also, $3000 a 
year ' for educational purposes, 5 and $3000 in presents distrib- 
uted at the time," were promised them. 

It was soon after these treaties that the artist Gatlin made his 
famous journey d among the North American Indians, and gave 
to the world an invaluable contribution to their history, per- 
petuating in his pictures the distinctive traits of their faces 
and their dress, and leaving on record many pages of unassail- 
able testimony as to their characteristics in their native state, 
He spent several weeks among the Sioux, and says of them : 
" There is no tribe on the continent of finer looking men, and 
few tribes who are better and more comfortably clad and sup- 
plied with the necessaries of life. * * * I have travelled several 
years already among these people, and I have not had my seal f 

* Treaty of Prairie du Chiea. 


taken, nor a blow struck me, nor Lad occasion to raise my 
hand against an Indian ; nor has my property been stolen as 
yet to my knowledge to the value of a shilling, and that in a 
country where no man is punishable by law for the crime of 
stealing. * * * That the Indians in their native state are drunk- 
en, is false, for they are the only temperance people, literally 
speaking, that ever I saw in my travels, or expect to see. If 
the civilized world are startled at this, it is the fact that they 
must battle with, not with me. These people manufacture no 
spirituous liquor themselves, and know nothing of it until it 
is brought into their country, and tendered to them by Chris- 

"That these people are naked, is equally untrue, and as 
easily disproved with the paintings I have made, and with 
their beautiful costumes wnich I shall bring home, I shall be 
able to establish the fact that many of these people dress not 
only with clothes comfortable for any latitude, but that they 
dress also with some considerable taste and elegance. * * * Nor 
am I quite sure that they are entitled to the name of 'poor* 
who live in a country of boundless green fields, with good 
horses to ride ; where they are all joint tenants of the soil to- 
gether; where the Great Spirit has supplied them with an 
abundance of food to eat." 

Catiin found six hundred families of the Sioux camped at 
one time around Fort Pierre, at the mouth of the Teton River, 
on the west bank of the Missouri. There were some twenty 
bands, each with their chief, over whom was one superior chief, 
called Ha-won-je-tah (the One Horn), whose portrait is one of 
the finest in Catlin's book. This chief took his name, "One 
Horn," from a little shell which he wore always on his neck 
This shell had descended to him from his father, and he said 
"he valued it more than anything which he possessed: afford- 
ing a striking instance of the living affection which these 
people often cherish for the dead, inasmuch as he chose to 


carry this name through life in preference to many others and 
more honorable ones he had a right to have taken from differ- 
ent battles and exploits of his extraordinary life." He was the 
fleetest man in the tribe; "could run down a buffalo, which he 
had often done on his own legs, and drive his arrow to the 

This chief came to his death, several years later, in a tragic 
way. He had been in some way the accidental cause of the 
death of his only son a very fine youth and so great was 
the anguish of his mind at times that he became insane. In 
one of these moods he mounted his favorite war-horse, with 
his bow and arrows in his hand, and dashed off at full speed 
upon the prairies, repeating the most solemn oath that he 
would slay the first living thing that fell in his way, be it man 
or beast, friend or foe. No one dared follow him, and after 
he had been absent an hour or two his horse came back to the 
village with two arrows in its body covered with blood. Fears 
of the most serious kind were now entertained for the fate of 
the chief, and a party of warriors immediately mounted their 
horses and retraced the animal's tracks to the place of the 
tragedy, where they found the body of their chief horribly 
mangled and gored by a buffalo-bull, whose carcass was stretch- 
ed by the side of him. 

A close examination of the ground was then made by the 
Indians, who ascertained by the tracks that their unfortunate 
chief, under his unlucky resolve, had met a buffalo-bull in the 
season when they are very stubborn, and unwilling to run from 
any one, and had incensed the animal by shooting a number of 
arrows into him, which tad brought him into furious combat 
The chief had then dismounted and turned his horse loose, hav- 
ing given it a couple of arrows from his bow, which sent it 
home at full speed, and then had thrown away his bow and 
quiver, encountering the infuriated animal with his knife alone, 
and the desperate battle had resulted in the death of both. 


Many of the bones of the chief were broken, and his huge an- 
tagonist lay dead by his side, weltering in blood from a hun- 
dred wounds made by the chiefs long and two-edged knife. 

Had the provisions of these first treaties been fairly and 
promptly carried out, there would have been living to-day 
among the citizens of Minnesota thousands of Sioux fami- 
lies, good and prosperous farmers and mechanics, whose civ- 
ilization would have dated back to the treaty of Prairie du 

In looking through the records of the expenditures of the 
Indian Bureau for the six years following this treaty, we find 
no mention of any specific provisions for the Sioux in the mat- 
ter of education. The $3000 annually which the treaty prom- 
ised should be spent " on account of the children of the said 
tribes and bands," is set down as expended on the " Choctaw 
Academy," which was in Kentucky. A very well endowed in- 
stitution that must have been, if we may trust to the fiscal re- 
ports of the Indian Bureau. In the year 1836 there were set 
down as expended on this academy : On account of the Mi- 
amis, $2000 ; the Pottawattomies, $5000 ; the Sacs, Foxes, and 
others, $3000 ; the Choctaws, $10,000 ; the Creeks, east, $3000 ; 
the Cherokees, west, $2000; the Florida Indians, $1000; the 
Quapaws, $1000 ; the Chickasaws, $3000 ; the Creeks, $1000 : 
being a total of $31,000. 

There were in this year one hundred and fifty-six pupils at 
the Choctaw Academy, sixteen of them being from the Sacs, 
Foxes, Sioux, and others represented in the Treaty of Prairie 
du Chien of 1830. For the education of these sixteen children, 
therefore, these tribes paid $3000 a year. The Miamis paid 
more in proportion, having but four youths at school, and 
$2000 a year charged to them. The Pottawattomies, on a 
treaty provision of $5000, educated twenty. 

In 1836 Congress appropriated $2000 "for the purpose of 
extinguishing the Indian title between the State of Missouri 


and the Missouri River. The land owned here by the Indians 
was a long, narrow belt of country, separated from the rest of 
the Indian country by the Missouri Siver. The importance of 
it to the State of Missouri was evident an " obvious conven* 
ience and necessity." The citizens of Missouri made represen- 
tations to this effect ; and though the President is said to have 
been " unwilling to assent, as it would be in disregard of the 
guarantee given to the Indians in the Treaty of Prairie du 
Chien, and might be considered by them as the first step in 
a series of efforts to obtain possession of their new country," 
he nevertheless consented that the question of such a cession 
should be submitted to them. Accordingly, negotiations were 
opened, and nearly all the Indians who had rights in these 
lands, " seeing that from their local position they could never 
be made available for Indian purposes," relinquished them.* 

In 1837 the Government invited deputations of chiefs from 
many of the principal tribes to come to Washington. It was 
"believed to be important to exhibit" to them "the strength 
of the nation they would have to contend with" if they vent- 
ured to attack our borders, " and at the same time to impress 
upon them the advantages which flow from civilization." 
Among these chiefs came thirty chiefs and headmen of the 
Sioux ; and, being duly " impressed," as was most natural, con- 
cluded treaties by which they ceded to the United States " all 
their land east of the Mississippi River, and all their islands in 
the same." These chiefs all belonged to the Medawakanton 
band, " community of the Mysterious Lakes." 

The price of this cession was $300,000, to be invested for 
them, and the interest upon this sum, at five per cent., to be 
paid to them "annually forever;" $110,000 to be distributed 
among the persons of mixed blood in the tribe; $90,000 to bo 

* For this relinquishment the Government gave to the Lower Sioux pre& 
cuts to the amount of $400, and to the upper bands $530 in goods. 


devoted to paying the just debts of the tribe ; 8230 to be ex- 
pended annually for twenty years in stock, implements, on phy- 
sicians, farmers, blacksmiths, etc. ; $10,000 worth of tools, cat- 
tle, etc., to be given to them immediately, " to enable them to 
break up and improve their lands ;" $5300 to be expended an- 
nually for twenty years in food for them, " to be delivered at 
the expense of the United States ;" $6000 worth of goods to 
be given to them on their arrival at St. Louis. 

In 1838 the Indian Bureau reports that all the stipulations 
of this treaty have been complied with, " except those which 
appropriate $8230 to be expended annually in the purchase of 
medicines, agricultural implements, and stock ; and for the sup- 
port of a physician, farmers, and blacksmiths," and " bind the 
United States to supply these Sioux as soon as practicable with 
agricultural implements, tools, cattle, and such other articles as 
may be useful to them, to an amount not exceeding $10,000, 
to enable them to break up and improve their lands." The 
fulfilment or non-fulfilment of these stipulations has been left 
to the discretion of the agent; and the agent writes that it 
"must be obvious to any one that a general personal inter- 
course" on his part "is impracticable," and that "his interviews 
with many of the tribes must result from casualty and accident." 
This was undoubtedly true ; but it did not, in all probability, 
occur to the Indians that it was a good and sufficient reason 
for their not receiving the $18,000 worth of goods promised. 

Five thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine dollars were 
expended the next year under this provision of the treaty, and 
a few Indians, who "all labored with the ioe," raised their 
own crops without assistance. Six thousand bushels of corn 
in all were housed for the winter ; but the experiment of turn- 
ing hunters into farmers in one year was thought not to be, on 
the whole, an encouraging one. The " peculiar habits of indo- 
lence, and total disregard and want of knowledge of the value 
and uses of time and property," the agent says, " almost f orbW 


hope." A more reasonable view of the situation would have 
seen in it very great hope. That out of five hundred warriors 
a few score should have been already found willing to work 
was most reassuring, and promised well for the future of the 

For the next ten years affairs went on badly with the Sioux ; 
they were continually attacked by the Chippewas, Ottawas, and 
others, and continually retaliated. The authorities took a sen- 
sible view of this state of things, as being the easiest way of 
securing the safety of the whites. " So long as they (the In- 
dians) are at war with each other they will not feel a disposi- 
tion to disturb the peace and safety of our exposed frontier set- 
tlements," wrote Governor Dodge, in 1840. 

Whiskey traders flocked faster and faster into the neighbor- 
hood ; fur traders, also, found it much more for their interest 
to trade with drunken Indians than with sober ones, and the 
Sioux grew rapidly demoralized. Their annuities were in ar- 
rears ; yet this almost seemed less a misfortune than a blessing, 
since both money, goods, and provisions were so soon squan- 
dered for whiskey. 

In 1842 several of the bands were reduced to a state of semi- 
starvation by the failure of corn crops, and also by the failure 
of the Senate to ratify a treaty they had made with Governor 
Doty in 1841.* Depending on the annuities promised in this 
treaty, they had neglected to make their usual provisions for 
the winter. Frosts, which came in June, and drought, which 
followed in July, combined to ruin their crops. For several 
years the water had been rapidly decreasing in all the lakes 
and streams north-west of Traverse de Sioux: the musk-rat 
ponds, from which the Indians used to derive considerable 
revenue, had dried up, and the musk-rats had gone, nobody 
knew where; the beaver, otter, and other furry creatures had 

* Never ratified. 


been hunted down till they were hard to find ; the buffalo had 
long since been driven to new fields, far distant. Many of the 
Indians were too poor to own horses on which to hunt. They 
were two hundred miles from the nearest place where corn 
could be obtained, even if they had money to pay for it. Ex- 
cept for some assistance from the Government, they would 
have died by hundreds in the winter of this year. 

In 1849 the "needs" of the white settlers on the east side 
of the Mississippi made it imperative that the Sioux should be 
again removed from their lands. " The desirable portions of 
Minnesota east of the Mississippi were already so occupied by 
a white population as to seem to render it absolutely necessary 
to obtain without delay a cession from the Indians on the west 
side of the river, for the accommodation of our citizens emi- 
grating to that quarter, a large" portion of whom would prob- 
ably be compelled to precipitate themselves on that side of the 

Commissioners were accordingly sent to treat with the In- 
dians owning these desired lands. In the instructions given 
to these commissioners there are some notable sentences: 
"Though the proposed purchase is estimated to contain some 
twenty millions of acres, and some of it no doubt of excellent 
quality," there are " sound reasons why it is comparatively val- 
ueless to the Indians, and a large price should not be paid for 
it." Alive to the apparent absurdity of the statement that 
lands which are " absolutely necessary " for white farmers are 
"comparatively valueless" to Indians whom the Government 
is theoretically making every effort to train into farmers, and 
who have for the last ten years made appreciable progress in 
that direction, the commissioner adds, "With respect to its be- 
ing valuable to the United States, it is more so for the purpose 
of making room for our emigrating citizens than for any other ; 
and only a small part of it is now actually necessary for that 
object. * * * The extent of the proposed cession should be no 


criterion of the amount that should be paid for it. On a full 
consideration of the whole matter, it is the opinion of this of- 
fice that from two to two and a half cents an acre would be an 
ample equivalent for it." Some discretion is left to the com- 
missioners as to giving more than this if the Indians are " not 
satisfied ;" but any such increase of price must be " based on 
such evidence and information as shall fully satisfy the Pres- 
ident and Senate."* 

Beading farther on in these instructions, we come at last to 
the real secret of this apparent niggardliness on the part of the 
Government. It is not selfishness at all ; it is the purest of 
philanthropy. The Government has all along been suffering 
in mind from two conflicting desires " the desire to give these 
Indians an equivalent for their possessions," and, on the other 
hand, " the well-ascertained fact that no greater curse can be 
inflicted on a tribe so little civilized as the Sioux than to have 
large sums of money coming to them as annuities." * * * On 
the whole, the commissioner says that we are called on, " as a 
matter of humanity and duty toward this helpless race, to make 
every exertion in our power not to place much money at their 
discretion." The Government is beginning very well in this di- 
rection, it must be admitted, when it proposes to pay for Mis- 
sissippi Valley lands in Minnesota only two and a half cents per 
acre. " Humanity and duty " allied could hardly do more at 
one stroke than that. 

"We cannot ascribe to the same philanthropy, however, the 
withholding from 1837 to 1850 the $3000 a year which the 
treaty of 1837 provided should be expended " annually " as the 
President might direct, and which was not expended at all, be- 
cause President after President directed that it should be ap- 

* "Chrysostom was of opinion, and not without reason, that, in contracts, 
as often as we strive earnestly to buy anything for less than it is worth, 
or to have more than our just measure or weight, there was in that fact a 
kind of theft." GROTITJS on Contracts. 


plied to educational purposes ; and there being no evident and 
easy way of expending it in that manner, it was allowed to 
accumulate, until in 1850 it amounted, according to the report 
of Governor Ramsey, of Minnesota, to $50,000. The governor 
also thinks better than the United States Government does of 
the country to be relinquished this year by the Sioux. He 
says that it will be " settled with great rapidity, possessing as 
it does from its situation considerable prospective commercial 
as well as agricultural advantages." It was evidently very 
cheap at two and a half cents an acre. 

In this same code of instructions by the Indian Bureau there 
is a record of another instance of the Government's disregard 
of treaty stipulations. At the time of the treaty of Prairie du 
Chien, in 18 50, the Sioux chiefs had requested that a certain 
tract be set apart and bestowed upon the half-breeds of their 
nation. This was provided for in the ninth Article of that 
treaty ; but the Government ref used to give to the half-breeds 
any title to this land, except " in the same manner as other In- 
dian titles are held." It was agreed, however, that the Presi- 
dent might " assign to any of said half-breeds, to be held by 
him or them in fee-simple, any portion of said tract not exceed- 
ing a section of six hundred and forty acres to an individual" 
This tract of land was known as the " Half-breed Reservation 
on Lake Tepin." 

The half-breeds had made almost unintermitting efforts to 
have these assignments made, but the Government had as con* 
stantly refused to do it. The Indian Bureau now assigns two 
reasons why this treaty stipulation was never fulfilled: 1st, 
that " the half-breeds, or most of them, would be speculated 
upon by designing persons, and cheated out of their reserva- 
tions ;" 2d, that, " on account of the quality of the lands, some 
would necessarily have much better reservations than others, 
which would engender dissatisfaction and heart-burning among 
themselves as well as against the United States." The Bureau 


felicitates itself that "the only title they now have to this 
land, therefore, is that by which other Indians hold their lands, 
viz., the occupant or usufruct right, and this they enjoy by the 
permission of the United States." Such being the case, and 
as the Government would probably never find it expedient and 
advisable to make the assignment referred to, this tract, what- 
ever may be the character of the land, must be and would con- 
tinue comparatively worthless to them. 

Nevertheless, it appears that in 1841 one of the three trea- 
ties made with the Sioux, but not ratified, was with these very 
half-breeds for this same "valueless" tract of 384,000 acres of 
land ; that they were to be paid $200,000 for it, and also to be 
paid for all the improvements they had made on it ; and that 
the treaty commissioners are still instructed " to allow them for 
it now whatever sum the commissioners deem it to be " fairly 
worth ; " under no circumstances," however, " to exceed the 
sum stipulated in 1841." Putting this all into plain English, 
it simply means that in 1830 the Government promised to let 
a band of men take out tracts of land in fee-simple, and settle 
down like other men on their homesteads ; that for ten years 
the men begged to do so, and were refused ; that at the end of 
ten years, thinking there was no hope of anything better, they 
agreed to sell the whole tract back to the Government for 
$200,000 ; that this bargain, also, the Government did not ful- 
fil (the treaties never being ratified), and nine years later was 
found congratulating itself on the fact that, by reason of all 
these unfulfilled agreements, the land was still " held only in the 
same manner as other Indian titles are held " i. e., not " held " 
at all only used on sufferance of the Government, and could be 
taken possession of at any time at the Government's pleasure. 
(This matter was supposed to be finally settled in 1854 by a 
law of Congress; but in 1856 the thing appears to have been 
still unsettled. A commission had been sent out to investigate 
it, and the report was that "the subject has been one of some 


difficulty and intricacy; but the final report of the commis- 
sioners has just been received, and steps will be taken at once 
to cause the scrip to issue to the parties entitled thereto.") 

A little farther on in this same notable document is a men- 
tion of another tract, of which it is now " desirable to extin- 
guish the title," This was set apart by the tenth Article of 
that same old treaty for the half-breeds of the Oniahas, Otoes, 
lowas, and Yankton and Santee Sioux. This contains about 
143,000 acres, but is " supposed to be of much less value than 
that on Lake Tepin :" much less value than " valueless ;" but 
the " amount to be paid for it is left to the discretion " of the 

At this time the bands of the Medewakanton Sioux were oc- 
cupying a tract of over two hundred miles along the west shore 
of the Mississippi, reaching also some twenty-five miles up the 
St. Peter's. The Yanktons, Santees, and other bands lived high 
up the St. Peter's, reaching over into the lands west of the Mis- 
souri, out of reach of ordinary facilities of intercourse. These 
bands were often in great distress for food, owing to the failure 
of the buffalo. They never lost an occasion to send imploring 
messages to the Great Father, urging him to help them. They 
particularly ask for hoes, that they may plant corn. In his re- 
port for 1850 the superintendent of the territory embracing 
these Indians says : " The views of most of those who have 
lived the longest among the Indians agree in one respect that 
is, that no great or beneficial change can take place in their 
condition until the General Government has made them amena- 
ble to local laws laws which will punish the evil-disposed, 
and secure the industrious in their property and individual 

Superintendents, agents, commissioners, secretaries, all re- 
iteratedly recommending this one simple and necessary step 
toward civilization the Indians themselves by hundreds im- 
ploring for titles to their farms, or at least "hoes" why did 


tlic United States Government keep on aiul on in its obstinate 
way, feeding the Indian in gross and reckless improvidence 
with one hand, plundering him with the other, and holding 
him steadily down at the level of his own barbarism 1 Nay, 
forcing him below it by the newly added vices of gambling 
and drunkenness, and yet all the while boasting of its desire to 
enlighten, instruct, and civilize him. It is as inexplicable as it 
is infamous : a phenomenal thing in the history of the world. 

In the summer of 1851 the desired treaties were made, the 
upper and lower bands of Sioux being treated with separately 
at Traverse de Sioux and at Mendota. The upper bands were 
soon disposed of, though "some few of them, having been 
taught to read," had become impressed with the idea that their 
country was of immense value, and at first demanded six mill- 
ion dollars for the lands to be ceded. The treaty with the 
lower bands the Medawakantons and Wahpacootas was "ex- 
ceedingly difficult of attainment" on account of, firstly, "their 
proximity to the flourishing settlements on the east side of the 
Mississippi producing necessarily frequent contact with the 
whites, whose ideas of the great value of the country had been 
imparted to these Indians ; secondly, their great experience in 
Indian diplomacy, being in the enjoyment already of liberal 
annuities under former stipulations" all these things ren- 
dered them as " indifferent to the making of another treaty at 
present as the whites on their borders were anxious that their 
lands should he acquired." In consequence of this indomita- 
ble common-sense on the part of the Indians the sessions of the 
commissioners were tedious and long ; not until a month had 
passed did they prevail on these Indians to sign away the cov- 
eted lands r " the garden-spot of the Mississippi Valley," and they 
were obliged to more than treble the number of cents per acre 
which they had been instructed to pay. For thirty-five mill- 
ions of acres of hind they agreed to pay nominally $3,075,000, 
which would be between eight and nine cents an acre. But as 


$2,500,000 was to be held in trust, and only the interest at 
five per cent, to be paid to the Indians, and this only for the 
term of fifty years, at which time the principal was to revert 
to the Government, it will be easily reckoned that the Indians 
would receive, all told, only about six and one-quarter cents an 
acre. And taking into account the great value of the relin- 
quished lands, and the price the Government would undoubt- 
edly obtain for them, it will be readily conceded that Govern- 
or Ramsey was not too sanguine when he stated, in his re- 
port to the Interior Department, that the " actual cost to the 
Government of this magnificent purchase is only the sum paid 
in hand" ($575,000). 

The governor says that it was " by no means the purpose " 
of the commission "to act other than justly and generously 
toward the Indians ;" that " a continuation of the payment of 
large sums of interest annually would do them no further 
good" after fifty years had expired, and would be "inconsist- 
ent with sound governmental policy." He says that the Da- 
kota nation, although warlike, is "friendly to the whites," 
and that it may be reasonably expected that, " by a judicious 
expenditure of the civilization and improvement funds provided 
for in these treaties," they will soon take the lead " in agri- 
culture and other industrial pursuits." 

One of the provisions of this treaty forbade the introduction 
of ardent spirits into the new reservation. This was put in in 
accordance with the " earnest desire " of the chiefs, who request- 
ed that " some stringent measures should be taken by the Gov- 
ernment to exclude all kinds of liquors from their new home." 

By this treaty the four great bands of Minnesota Sioux were 
all to be " consolidated together on one reservation in the up- 
per part of the Mississippi Valley." This region was thought to 
be "sufficiently remote to guarantee" them against any press- 
ure from the white population for many years to come. Farms 
were to be opened for them, mills and schools to be established, 


and dwelling-houses erected. They were to have now a chance 
to own " that domestic country called home, with all the living 
sympathies and all the future hopes and projects which people 
it." From this time " a new era was to be dated in the his- 
tory of the Dakotas : an era full of brilliant promise." The 
tract of territory relinquished by them was " larger than the 
State of New York, fertile and beautiful beyond description," 
far the best part of Minnesota. It is " so far diversified in natu- 
ral advantages that its productive powers may be considered 
almost inexhaustible. * * * Probably no tract on the surface of 
the globe is equally well watered. * * * A large part is rich 
arable land ; portions are of unsurpassed fertility, and eminent- 
ly adapted to the production in incalculable quantities of the 
cereal grains. The boundless plains present inexhaustible fields 
of pasturage, and the river bottoms are richer than the banks 
of the Nile. In the bowels of the earth there is every indica- 
tion of extensive mineral fields." 

It would seem that the assertion made only a few lines be- 
fore this glowing paragraph " to the Indians themselves the 
broad regions which have been ceded are of inconsiderable 
value" could not be true. It would seem that for eight thou- 
sand people, who, according to this same writer, " have outlived 
in a great degree the means of subsistence of the hunter 
state," and must very soon "resort to the pursuits of agri- 
culture," nothing could have been more fortunate than to have 
owned and occupied thirty-five millions of acres of just such 
land as this. 

They appear to be giving already some evidence of a dispo- 
sition to turn this land to account. The reports from the dif- 
ferent farms and schools show progress in farming industry 
and also in study. The farming is carried on with difficulty, 
because there are only a few carts and ploughs, which must 'be 
used in turn by the different farmers, and therefore must come 
to some quite too late to be of use, and there is much quarrel- 


ling among them owing to this trouble. Nevertheless, these 
bands have raised over four thousand bushels of corn in the 
year. There is also a great opposition to the schools, because 
the Indians have been told that the accumulated fifty thousand 
dollars which is due to them would be paid to them in cash if 
it were not for the schools. Nevertheless, education is slowly 
progressing ; in this year fifty copies of a little missionary pa- 
per called The Dakota Friend were subscribed for in the one 
mission station of Lac qui Parle, and sixty scholars were enrolled 
at the school. The blacksmith at St. Peter's reports that he 
has made during the year 2506 pieces of one sort and another 
for the Indians, and repaired 1430 more. Evidently a com- 
munity keeping blacksmiths so busy as this are by no means 
wholly idle themselves. 

It is worth while to dwell upon these seemingly trivial de- 
tails at this point in the history of the Minnesota Sioux, be- 
cause they are all significant to mark the point in civilization 
they had already reached, and the disposition they had already 
shown toward industry before they were obliged to submit to 
their first great removal. Their condition at the end of two 
years from the ratification of these treaties is curtly told in the 
official reports of the Indian Bureau : 

" The present situation of that portion of the Sioux Indians 
parties to the treaties of July 23d and August 5th, 1851, is 
peculiar, unfortunate, and to them must prove extremely inju- 
rious. By these treaties they reluctantly parted with a very 
large extent of valuable country, which it was of the greatest 
importance to the Government to acquire. An insignificant 
portion of it near its western boundary, not deemed necessary 
or desirable for a white population for many years, if at all, 
was agreed to be reserved and assigned to them for their future 
residence. The Senate amended the treaties, striking out this 
provision, allowing ten cents an acre in lieu of the reservations, 
and requiring the President, with the assent of the Indians, if 


they agreed to the amendments, to assign them such tracts of 
country, beyond the limits of that ceded, as might he satisfacto- 
ry for their future home. To the amendments was appended 
a proviso * that the President may, hy the consent of the In- 
dians, vary the conditions aforesaid, if deemed expedient.' 
The Indians were induced to agree to the amendments ; 4 con- 
fiding in the justice, liberality, and humanity of the President 
and the Congress of the United States, that such tracts of 
country will be set apart for their future occupancy and home 
as will be to them acceptable and satisfactory.' Thus, not 
only was the assent of the Indians made necessary to a coun- 
try being assigned to them without the limits of that ceded, 
but, by the authority given to the President to vary the' condi- 
tions of the amendments to the treaties, he was empowered, 
with the consent of the Indians, to place them upon the desig- 
nated reservations, or upon any other portion of the ceded ter- 
ritory, 4 if deemed expedient.' 

" To avoid collisions and difficulties between the Indians and 
the white population which rapidly commenced pouring into 
the ceded country, it became necessary that the former should 
vacate at least a large portion of it without delay, while there 
was neither the time nor the means to make the requisite 
explorations to find a suitable location for them beyond the 
limits of the cession. 

" Under these pressing and embarrassing circumstances the 
late President determined to permit them to remain five years 
on the designated reservations, if they were willing to accept 
this alternative. They assented, and many of them have been 
already removed. However unavoidable this arrangement, it 
is a most unfortunate one. The Indians are fully aware of its 
temporary character, and of the uncertainty as to their future 
position, and will consequently be disinclined and deterred 
from any efforts to make themselves comfortable and improve 
their condition. The inevitable result must be that, at the end 


of the time limited, they will be in a far worse condition than 
now, and the efforts and expenditures of years to infuse into 
them a spirit of improvement will all have been in vain. 

" The large investments in mills, farms, mechanic shops, and 
other improvements required by the treaties to be made for 
their benefit, will be entirely wasted if the Indians are to re- 
main on their reservations only during the prescribed five years. 
At the very period when they would begin to reap the full 
advantage of these beneficial provisions they would have to 
remove. Another unfortunate feature of this arrangement, if 
temporary, is that the Indians will have expended the consid- 
erable sums set apart in the treaties for the expenses of their 
removal to a permanent home, and for subsistence until they 
could otherwise provide it, leaving nothing for these important 
and necessary purposes in the event of another emigration. 
In view of these facts and considerations, no time should be 
lost in determining upon some final and permanent arrange- 
ment in regard to them." 

The Governor of Minnesota also writes at this time : " The 
doubtful tenure by which this tribe hold their supposed reser- 
vation is well understood by their chiefs and headmen, and is 
beginning to give deep dissatisfaction, and throwing daily more 
and more obstacles in the way of their removal. This reserva- 
tion will not be wanted for white men for many years. 

"There is not wood, or timber, or coal sufficient for the 
purposes of civilization, except immediately on the St. Peter's 
and its tributaries. From near the vicinity of the new agency 
there commences a vast prairie of more than one hundred 
miles in extent, entirely destitute of timber, and I feel confi- 
dent that we never shall be able to keep any very large num- 
ber of them at their new agency, or near there. 

" Already the fund set apart for the removal and subsistence 
the first year of the Sissetons and Wah-pa-tons has been ex- 
pended, and all their provisions eaten up. Seventeen thousand 


dollars and upward have been expended by Governor Ramsey, 
and one year in advance of the time fixed by the treaty for 
their removal. This expenditure was made while he was get- 
ting them to sign the Senate amendments to the treaty of 
1851, which they were very reluctant to do, and which not 
more than half the chiefs have signed. These Indians want 
the Government to confirm this reservation to them. I would 
recommend that this be done as the only means to satisfy 
them, and humanity demands it." 

Here is a picture of a helpless people ! Forced to give up 
the " garden-spot of the State," and accept in its stead an " in- 
significant tract, on the greater part of which there is not wood, 
or timber, or coal sufficient for civilization ;" and then, before 
the ink of this treaty is dry, told that even from this insignifi- 
cant tract they must promise to move at the end of five years. 
What words could characterize such a transaction between man 
and man ? There is not a country, a people, a community in 
which it would be even attempted ! Was it less base, or more, 
being between a strong government and a feeble race ? 

From the infamy of accomplishing this purpose the United 
States was saved. Remonstrances, and still more the resistance 
of the Indians, prevailed, and in 1854 we find the poor creat- 
ures expressing " much satisfaction '* that the President has de- 
creed that they are to remain permanently on their " insignifi- 
cant tract" 

The Upper Missouri Sioux are still suffering and destitute ; 
a few of them cultivating little patches of ground, depending 
chiefly on the chase, and on roots and wild berries ; when these 
resources fail there is nothing left for them but to starve, or to 
commit depredations on white settlers. Some of the bands, 
nevertheless, have scrupulously observed the stipulations of the 
Fort Laramie treaty in 1851, show a "strong desire for im- 
provement," and are on the most friendly terms with the 
whites. These peaceable and friendly bauds are much dis- 


tressed, as well they may be, at the reckless course pursued by 
others of their tribe. They welcome the presence of the sol- 
diers sent to chastise the offenders, and gladly render all the 
service to them they can, even against their relatives and 

In 1855 it is stated that "various causes have combined to 
prevent the Minnesota Sioux from deriving, heretofore, much 
substantial benefit from the very liberal provisions of the trea- 
ties of 1851. Until after the reservations were permanently 
assured to the Indians (1854) it would hare been highly im- 
proper to have made the expenditures for permanent improve- 
ments, and since then the affairs of the agency have not been 
free from confusion." 

" Large sums of money have been expended for these Sioux, 
but they have been indolent, extravagant, intemperate, and have 
wasted their means without improving, or seeming to desire to 
improve their condition." 

Both these statements are made in grave good faith ; cer- 
tainly without any consciousness of their bearing on each other. 
It is not stated, however, what specific means the Sioux could 
have employed " to improve their condition," had they " de- 
sired " to do so. 

The summer of 1857 was one which will long be remem- 
bered by the citizens of Minnesota. It was opened by ter- 
rible massacres, which were all the work of a strolling outcast 
band of Sioux, not more than fifteen in number. They had 
been driven out of their tribe some sixteen years previous, and 
had been ever since then leading a wandering and marauding 
life. The beginning of the trouble was a trivial difficulty be- 
tween one of the white settlers on Rock River and an Indian. 
The settler's dog bit the Indian, and the Indian shot the dog. 
For this the white settlers beat the Indian severely, and then 
went to the camp and by force took away all the guns of the 
band. This was at a season of the year when to be without 


guns meant simply to be without food, and the Indians were 
reduced at once to a condition of great suffering. By some 
means they either repossessed themselves of their guns or pro- 
cured others, and, attacking the settlement, killed all the in- 
habitants except four women, whom they canicd away with 
them, and treated with the utmost barbarity. The inevitable 
results of such horrors followed. The thousands of peaceable 
Indians in Minnesota, who did not even know of this outrage, 
were all held in one common terror and hatred by the general 
public ; only the very great firmness and discretion of the mili- 
tary officers sent to deal with the outbreak saved Minnesota 
from a general uprising and attack from all the Sioux bands, 
who were already in a state of smouldering discontent by rea- 
son of the non-payment of their annuities. However, they 
obeyed the demands of the Government that they themselves 
should pursue this offending band, and either capture or exter- 
minate it. They killed four, and took three prisoners, and 
then returned " much jaded and worn," and said they could do 
no more without the help of United States soldiers ; and that 
they thought they had now done enough to show their loyalty, 
and to deserve the payment of their annuities. One of the 
chiefs said : " The man who killed white people did not belong 
to us, and we did not expect to be called to account for the 
people of another band. We have always tried to do as our 
Great Father tells us." Another said : " I am going to speak 
of the treaty. For fifty years we were to be paid $50,000 per 
annum. "We were also promised $300,000 that we have not 
seen. I wish to say to my Great Father we were promised 
these things, but have not seen them yet. Why does not the 
Great Father do as he promised ?" 

These hostilities were speedily brought to an end, yet the 
situation was by no means reassuring for the Indians. But 
one sentiment seemed to inspire the whole white population, 
and this was the desire to exterminate the entire Indian race. 


"For the present," writes the superintendent, "it is equally 
important to protect the Indians from tlie whites as the/ whites 
from the Indians ;" and this in spite of the fact that all the 
leading bands of the treaty Sioux had contributed warriors to 
go in pursuit of the murderers, had killed or captured all they 
could find, and stood ready to go again after the remaining 
eight, if the United States troops would go also and assist them. 
Spite of the exertions of one of the chiefs of the Lower Sioux, 
"Little Crow," who, the superintendent says, labored with him 
" night and day in organizing the party, riding continually be- 
tween the lower and upper agencies," so that they " scarcely 
slept " till the war-party had set out on the track of the mur- 
derers ; spite of the fact that the whole body of the Sioux, with- 
out exception, " received the inteDigence with as much indigna- 
tion and disapprobation as the whites themselves, and did their 
best to stand clear of any suspicion of or connection with the 
affair S pite of all this, they were in continual danger of being 
shot at sight by the terrified and unreasoning settlers. One 
band, under the chief Sleepy Eyes, were returning to their 
homes from a hunt ; and while they were " wondering what 
the panic among the whites meant" (they having heard noth- 
ing of the massacre), were fired into by some of the militia 

The next day a white settler was found killed near that spot 
presumably by some member of Sleepy Eyes' band. This 
excitement slowly abated, and for the next four years a steady 
improvement was visible in the Minnesota Sioux. Hundreds 
of them threw aside the blanket the distinctive badge of their 
wild state ; schools were well attended, and farms were well 
tilled. That there was great hostility to this civilization, on 
the part of the majority of the tribe, cannot be denied; but 
that was only natural the inevitable protest of a high-spirited 
and proud race against abandoning all its race distinctions. 
When we see the men of Lorraine, or of Montenegro, ready to 


die for the sake merely of being called by the name of one 
power rather than by that of another, we find it heroic, and 
give them our sympathies ; but when the North American In- 
dian is ready to die rather than wear the clothes and follow 
the ways of the white man, we feel for him only unqualified 
contempt, and see in his instinct nothing more than a barba- 
rian's incapacity to appreciate civilization. Is this just? 

In 1861 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, visiting these 
Sioux, reports : " I was much surprised to find so many of the 
Sioux Indians wearing the garb of civilization, many of them 
living in frame or brick houses, some of them with stables or 
out-houses, and their fields indicating considerable knowledge 
of agriculture." Their condition, he says, affords " abundant 
evidence of what may be accomplished among the Sioux In- 
dians by steadily adhering to a uniform, undeviating policy. 

" The number that live by agricultural pursuits is yet small 
compared with the whole ; but their condition is so much better 
than that of the wild Indian, that they, too, are becoming con- 
vinced that it is the better way to live ; and many are coming 
in, asking to have their hair cut, and for a suit of clothes, and 
to be located on a piece of land where they can build a house 
and fence in their fields." 

Many more of them would have entered on the agricultural 
life had the Government provided ways and means for them to 
do so. In this same report is a mention of one settlement of 
two thousand Indians at Big Stone Lake, who "have been 
hitherto almost entirely neglected. These people complain 
that they have lived upon promises for the last ten years, and 
are really of opinion that white men never perform what they 
promise. Many of them would go to work if they had any 
reasonable encouragement." 

The annuities are still in arrears. Every branch of the indus- 
tries and improvements attempted suffers for want of the prom- 
ised funds, and from delays in payments expected. The worst 


result, however, of these delays in the fulfilment of treaty stip< 
ulations was the effect on the Indians. A sense of wrong in 
the past and distrust for the future was ever deepening in their 
minds, and preparing them to be suddenly thrown by any small 
provocation into an antagonism and hostility grossly dispropor- 
tionate to the apparent cause. This was the condition of the 
Minnesota Sioux in the summer of 1862.* 

The record of the massacres of that summer is scarcely equal- 
led in the history of Indian wars. Early in August some bands 
of the Upper Sioux, who had been waiting at their agency near- 
ly two months for their annuity payments, and had been suffer- 
ing greatly for food during that time so much so that " they 
dug up roots to appease their hunger, and when corn was turned 
out to them they devoured it uncooked, like wild animals" be- 
came desperate, broke into the Government warehouse, and took 
some of the provisions stored there. This was the real begin- 
ning of the outbreak, although the first massacre was not till 
the 13th, When that began, the friendly Indians were power- 
less to resist in fact, they were threatened with their lives if 
they did not join. Nevertheless, some of them rescued whole 
families, and carried them to places of safety ; others sheltered 
and fed women and children in their own lodges; many fled, 
leaving all their possessions behind as much victims of the out- 
break as the Minnesota people themselves. For three days the 
hostile bands, continually re-enforced, went from settlement to 
settlement, killing and plundering. A belt of country nearly 
two hundred-miles in length and about fifty in width was en- 
tirely abandoned by the population, who flocked in panic to 
the towns and forts. Nearly a thousand were killed men, 
women, and children and nameless outrages were committed 
on many. Millions of dollars' worth of property were de- 
stroyed. The outbreak was quickly quelled by military forces 

* See Appendix, Art. VL 


and a large number of Indians captured. Many voluntarily 
surrendered, bringing with them over two hundred whites that 
they had taken prisoners. A military commission tried these 
Indians, and sentenced over three hundred to be hung. All but 
thirty-nine were reprieved and put into prison. The remainder 
were moved to Dakota, to a barren desert, where for three years 
they endured sufferings far worse than death. The remainder 
escaped to the Upper Missouri region or to Canada.* 

Minnesota, at a terrible cost to herself and to the United 
States Government, was at last free from the presence of 
Indians within her borders Indians who were her enemies 
only because they had been treated with injustice and bad 

During this time the bands of Sioux in the Upper Missouri 
region had been more or less hostile, and military force in con- 
tinual requisition to subdue them. Ee-enforced by the Minne- 
sota refugees, they became more hostile still, and in the sum- 
mer of 1863 were in almost incessant conflict. In 1864 the 
Governor of Dakota Territory writes to the Department that 
the war is spreading into Nebraska and Kansas, and that if 
provision is not made for the loyal treaty Indians in that re- 
gion before long, they also will join the hostiles. One band of 
the Sioux the Yanktons has been persistently loyal, and ren- 
dered great service through all the troubles. Fifty of these 
Yankton Sioux had been organized by General Sibley into a 
company of scouts, and had proved " more effective than twice 
the number of white soldiers." The only cost to the Govern- 
ment " of this service on the part of the Yanktons had been 
fifty suits of condemned artillery uniforms, arms, and rations 
in part to the scouts themselves." 

In 1865 the Government, having spent about $40,000,000 
on these campaigns, began to cast about for cheaper, if not 

* All the Winnebagoes were removed from Minnesota at the same time. 


more humane methods, and, partly at the instance of the Gov- 
ernor of Dakota, who knew very well that the Indians desired 
peace, sent out a commission to treat with them. There \vere 
now, all told, some 14,000 Sioux in this region, nearly 2000 
being the refugees from. Minnesota. 

The report of this commission is full of significant state- 
ments. There seems to be no doubt that the great majority of 
the Indians are anxious for peace ; but they are afraid to meet 
the agents of the Government, lest they be in some way be- 
trayed. Such bands as are represented, however, gladly assent 
to a treaty of peace and good-will. The commissioners speak 
with great feeling of the condition of the loyal Yanktons. "No 
improvements have been made on their lands, and the commis- 
sioners were obliged to issue provisions to them to keep them 
from starving. * * * No crops met the eye, nor is there the 
semblance of a school-house." 

Yet by Article four of the treaty with the Yankton Sioux 
the United States Government had agreed to expend $10,000 
in erecting a suitable building or buildings, and to establish 
and maintain one or more" normal labor schools; and it is to 
be read in the United States Statutes at Large that in each of 
the years 1860, 1861, 1862, and 1863, Congress appropriated 
$65,000, as per treaty, for the benefit of the Yankton Sioux. 

"With the exception of a few miserable huts, a saw-mill, 
and a small amount of land enclosed, there are few vestiges of 
improvement. * * * They are reduced to the necessity of hunt- 
ing for a living, and, unless soon reassured and encouraged, 
they will be driven to despair, and the great discontent existing 
among them will culminate in another formidable Indian 

Nine treaties were concluded by this commission with as 
many different bands of Sioux, the Indians pledging them- 
selves to abstain from all hostilities with each other and with 
the whites, and the Government agreeing to pay to the Indians 


fifteen dollars a head per annum, and to all who will settle 
down to farming twenty-five dollars a head. 

In the winter follo\ving these treaties all these Indians faith- 
fully kept their promises, in spite of terrible sufferings from 
cold and from lack of food. Some of them were at the old 
Crow Creek Reservation in Dakota, where they were " kept 
from absolute starvation only by the issue to them of such 
scanty supplies as could be spared from the stores at Fort 
Sully, and from the agency." It is much to the credit of these 
Indians that, in spite of their manifold sufferings, scarcely a 
case of stealing occurred among them, they being determined 
to keep their faith to the Government 

" They will run like chickens to gather the offal from the 
slop buckets that are carried from the garrison kitchens ; while 
they pass a pile of corn and hundreds of loose cattle without 
touching a thing, except when told they may gather up the 
grains of corn from the ground where the rats in their depre- 
dations have let it fall from the sacks," says the report of one 
of the commissioners. 

In the summer of 1865 still further treaties were concluded 
with the Indians of the plains, and all the Sioux, with the ex- 
ception of those in the British possessions, were now pledged 
to peace. This summer also saw the first recognition on the part 
of the Government of its flagrant injustice toward the friendly 
Minnesota Sioux who were moved to Crow Creek, Dakota, at 
the time of the massacre. There were nearly one thousand of 
these mostly old men, women, and children many of them 
the widows and children of those who had been hung or were 
in prison at Davenport. For three years they had been " quiet 
and patient in their sufferings." 

The two hundred prisoners in Davenport had also shown 
"an excellent disposition and entire submission," although 
many of them were known and proved to have been " abso- 
lutely guiltless of any acts of hostility ; and not only this, but 


deserving of reward for the rescue of \vliite captives." Cer- 
tificates, petitions, and letters showing these facts wore for- 
warded from Iowa to the Department, but the commissioner 
says, in his report for 1866, that " they have been mislaid in their 
passage through the various departments, and cannot be found T' 

There was still another class of these Indians deserving of 
help from the Government some two hundred and fifty 
friendly farmer Indians, who were living in 1862 quietly on 
their farms, "who have acted as scouts for the Government; 
who never committed any acts of hostility, nor fled with those 
who did commit them," and have still remained friendly 
through these four years, " while compelled to a vagabond life 
by the indiscriminate confiscation of all their land and prop- 

"The crops belonging to these farmer Indians were valued 
at $125,000, and they had large herds of stock of all kinds, 
fine farms, and improvements. The United States troops en- 
gaged in suppressing the massacre, also the prisoners taken by 
them in all, some 3500 men lived for fifty days on this 

Strong efforts were made by Bishop Whipple and others to 
obtain from the Government some aid for these friendly In- 
dians, and the sum of $7500 was appropriated by Congress 
for that purpose. The letter of Bishop "Whipple, who was 
requested to report on the division of this sum, is so eloquent 
a summing up of the case of these Indians, that it ought to 
be placed on permanent record in the history of our country. 
He writes : 

" There is positive injustice in the appropriation of so mis- 
erable a pittance. * * * A much larger sum would not pay the 
amount which we honestly owe these men. The Government 
was the trustee of the Upper and Lower Sioux. It held several 
millions of dollars for their benefit the joint property of the 
tribes. These friendly Sioux had abandoned their wild life, 


and adopted the dress, habits, and customs of civilization ; and 
in doing this, which placed them in open opposition to the 
traditions of their tribes, they were pledged the protection of 
the Government. By a mistaken policy, by positive neglect to 
provide a government, by tbe perversion of funds due them for 
the sale of one-half their reservations, by withholding their 
annuities until two months after they were due (which was 
caused by the use of a part of these funds for claims), by per- 
mitting other causes of dissatisfaction to go on unheeded, we 
provoked the hostility of the wild Indians, and it went on 
until it ripened in massacre. These farmer Indians had been 
pledged a patent for their farms : unless we violated our solemn 
pledge, these lands were theirs by a title as valid as any title 
could be. They had large crops, sufficient to support General 
Sibley's army for a number of weeks. They lost all they had 
crops, stock, clothing, furniture. In addition to this, they 
were deprived of their share in these annuities, and for four 
years have lived in very great suffering. You can judge 
whether $5000 shall be deemed a just reward* for the brav- 
ery an4 fidelity of men who, at the risk of their own lives, 
were instrumental in saving white captives, and maintained 
their friendship to the whites. 

" I submit to you, sir, and through you hope to reach all 
who fear God and love justice, whether the very least we can 
do for all the friendly Sioux is not to fulfil the pledges we 
made years ago, and give to each of them a patent of eighty 
acres of land, build them a house, and provide them cattle, 
seeds, and implements of husbandry ?" 

In 1866 all these Sioux were removed, and, in spite of the 

* Two thousand five hundred of the seven thousand five hundred dol- 
lars had been especially set aside by the Government (unjust in its rewards 
as in its punishments) for Chief Other Day, who was really less deserv' 
ing than many others. 


protestations of tlie Nebraska citizens, settled on reservations 
on the Niobrara River, in Northern Nebraska. It soon becama 
evident that this place was undesirable for a reservation, both 
on account of its previous occupancy by the whites aud scarci- 
ty of timber. 

In the fall they removed again to the mouth of Bazile Creek. 
Temporary buildings were again erected, and here they spent 
the winters of 1866 and 1867. In February they were cheer- 
ed by the invitation sent their chiefs and headmen to visit 
Washington. They went, feeling sure that they should get a 
home for themselves and people. " All they got was a prom- 
ise that a commission should be sent out to visit them the 
next year." They were told, however, to move to Breckenridge, 
on the west bank of the Missouri, plant crops there, and were 
promised that, if they liked the place, they should have it " se- 
cured to them as a permanent home.*' Accordingly, the " agency 
buildings " were once more removed, and two hundred acres of 
land were planted. Before the crops were harvested the com- 
mission arrived, and urged the Indians to move farther up 
the Missouri. The Indians being averse to this, however, they 
were allowed to remain, and told that if they would cultivate 
the soil like white men take lands in severalty the Govern- 
ment would assist them. The Indians gladly consented to this, 
and signed a treaty to that effect. But in 1868 their agent 
writes : " That treaty is not yet ratified, and, instead of assist- 
ance to open farms, their appropriation has been cut down one 
half. After paying for supplies purchased on credit last year, 
it is entirely insufficient for clothing and subsistence, and 
leaves nothing for opening farms, procuring cattle," etc. These 
Indians, only five years previous, had been living on good 
farms, and had $125,000 worth of stock, implements, etc. No 
wonder their agent writes : " Leave them without a home a few 
years longer, and you offer strong inducements for them to be 
come idle and worthless." 


It is an intricate and perplexing task to attempt now to 
follow the history of the different bands of the Sioux tribe 
through all their changes of location and affiliation some in 
Dakota, some in Nebraska, and some on the Upper Arkansas 
with the hostile Cheyennes and Arapahoes signing treaties one 
summer, and on the war-path the next promised a home in 
spring, and ordered off it before harvest all the time more 
and more hemmed in by white settlers, and more and more 
driven out of their buffalo ranges by emigrations liable at any 
time to have bodies of United States soldiers swoop down on 
them and punish whole bands for depredations committed by 
a handful of men, perhaps of a totally distinct band the won- 
der is not that some of them were hostile and vindictive, but 
that any of them remained peaceable and friendly. Bandied 
about from civil authorities to military the War Department 
recommending " that all Indians not on fixed reservations be 
considered at war," and proceeded against accordingly, and the 
Interior Department neglecting to provide them with "fixed 
reservations," or to define or enforce the boundaries of even 
their temporary reservations tricked, cheated on all sides 
starving half the time there is not a tribe of all the perse- 
cuted tribes of Indians that has a more piteous record than the 
Sioux. Nevertheless, we find many of the bands, in 1870, ad- 
vancing in civilization. In the Yankton band nearly one hun- 
dred children arc in school, and eight hundred acres of land 
are under cultivation. The Lower Yanktons arc peaceful and 
quiet, although they are near the Brules, who are always rov- 
ing and hostile. The Sissctons and Wahpetons, who were by 
a treaty of 1867 placed on reservations in Dakota, arc "indus- 
trious, and fast advancing in agricultural pursuits." Four 
schools are in operation among them. The Yanktons arc 
" anxious to farm, and state that the Government has promised 
to assist and teach them to farm ; that they are and have been 
ready for some time, but as yet the agent has not received any 


instructions or funds to permit of tlieir accomplishing their 

Two events, important in the history of the Sioux tribe, hap- 
pened in 1869 and 1870. One was the visit of a delegation of 
chiefs and headmen from several of the bands, under the loader- 
ship of the chief Red Cloud, to Washington, Philadelphia, and 
New York. They had thus an opportunity of relating all their 
grievances, and of receiving the Government's declarations of 
good intentions toward them. Eed Cloud, after his return home, 
became an ardent and determined advocate of peace and loyal- 
ty. The other was the withdrawal of a portion of the San tee 
Sioux from their band, for the purpose of taking up farms un- 
der the Homestead Act, and becoming independent citizens. 
The story of this experiment, and the manner in which it was 
met by the United States Government, is best told in the words 
of Dr. Williamson, a missionary, who had lived thirty-five years 
among them, and who pleaded thus warmly for them in a letter 
addressed to the Department in the summer of 1870 : "Several 
considerations have influenced the Dakotas in going to the Big 
Sioux River: 1st. The -soil and climate are more similar to 
that to which they have been accustomed in Minnesota, their 
former home, than is that of their reservation on the Missouri ; 
2d. Feeling that they were men capable of sustaining them- 
selves if a fair opportunity is afforded them, they felt that it 
was degrading to live as sinecures and pensioners dependent 
on Government for food and clothing ; 3d. And chiefly a de- 
sire to make homes for their families where they could be sub- 
jected to, and protected by, the laws of the United States, the 
same as all other men are. This they thought could not be the 
case on their reservation. 

"These Sioux were parties to the treaties made in 1851, by 
which they and other bands ceded to the United States all the 
best settled parts of Minnesota west of the Mississippi for less 
than one-hundredth part of its present value, and much less 


than the lands were worth to them as hunting-grounds. And 
while as hunters they needed no protection of the law, they 
knew that as agriculturists they could not live without it ; and 
they positively refused to sell their hunting-grounds till the 
Commissioner of the United States promised that they should 
he protected in their persons and property the same as whito 
men. Government never accorded to them this protection, 
which, in the view of the Indians, was a very important consid- 
eration in selling the lands. This neglect on the part of tho 
Government led to yearly complaints, and the massacres of 
1862. * * * These Sioux were most of them previous to the 
war living in comfortable homes, with well - cultivated farms 
and teams," and were receiving by annuity provisions, either in 
money or the equivalent, about $50 a head annually, from in- 
terest on their money invested in the bonds of the Govern- 
ment. These Indians, in taking up their new homesteads, wcro 
required by the Department to renounce, on oath, all claims on 
the United States for annuities. Without doubt, citizenship 
of the United States, the protection of our laws, is worth a 
great sum ; but is it wise or right in our Government to re- 
quire these natives of the country to purchase, at a price of sev- 
eral thousands of dollars, that which is given without money or 
price to every immigrant from Asia, Europe, or Africa that 
asks for it ? 

"Besides their annuities, there is due them from the Govern 
ment the proceeds of the sale of their old reservation on the 
Minnesota River, which is more than forty miles long and ten 
wide ; which, after paying expenses of survey and sale, arc, ac- 
cording to a law of the United States, to be expended in as- 
sisting them to make homes elsewhere ; and as these lands were 
valued at $1 25 an acre and upward, and arc rapidly selling, 
the portion which will be due each of the Indians cannot be 
less than $200 or $300 or $1000 for each family. The oatli 
required of them is supposed to bar them from any claim to 


tliis also. Now, I cannot see how this decision of the Indian 
Department is consistent either with justice or good policy, and 
it is certainly inconsistent with both the spirit and letter of 
Articles six and ten of a treaty between the United States of 
America and different bands of Sioux Indians, concluded in 
1868, and ratified and proclaimed February, 1869. * * * "What 
I ask for them is that our Government restore to them a part 
of what we took from them, and give them the same chance to 
live and thrive which we give to all the other inhabitants of 
our country, whether white or black. * * * That some aid is 
very necessary must be obvious to you, who know how difficult 
it is for even white men, trained to work, and with several hun- 
dred dollars in property, to open a new farm in this Western 
wilderness. Their number is probably greater than you are 
aware of. When I administered the Lord's Supper there on 
the first Sabbath of this month, there were present seventy- 
seven communicants of our church, besides quite a number of 
other persons. * * * It is owing to the Santee Sioux partly to 
those on the Big Sioux River, chiefly to those near Fort Wads- 
worth that in the last five years not a single white inhabitant 
of Minnesota or Iowa has been murdered by the wild Indians, 
while many have been cut off in every frontier State and Ter- 
ritory south-west of the Missouri. So long as the Christian 
Sioux can be kept on the frontier, the white settlements are 
safe. * * * In conclusion, I wish again to call your attention to 
the fact that these Indians on the Big Sioux purchase citizen- 
ship at a very great sum, and to entreat you to dp all in your 
power to secure for them that protection of person or property 
for which they bargain, and without which nothing our Gov- 
ernment can do will make them prosperous or happy." 

No attention was paid to this appeal; and the next year 
the indefatigable missionary sent a still stronger one, setting 
forth that this colony now numbered fifty families; had been 
under the instruction of the American Board of Commissioners 


for Foreign Missions for many years; had a church of one 
hundred members; a native preacher, partly supported by 
them; had built log-cabins on their 'claims, and planted farms, 
" many of them digging up the ground with hoes and spades." 

Dr. Williamson reiterates the treaty provisions under which he 
claims that these Indians arc entitled to aid. The sixth Article 
of the treaty of 1808 closes as follows: "Any Indian or In- 
dians receiving a patent for land under the foregoing provis- 
ions, shall thereby and henceforth become and be a citizen of the 
United States, and be entitled to all the privileges and immu- 
nities of such citizenship, and shall at the same time retain all 
his rights and benefits accruing to Indians under this treaty." 

This treaty goes on to provide most liberally for all Indians 
adopting the civilized mode of life. Article eighth specially 
provides for supplying them with seed and agricultural imple- 
ments, and this is what they most of all need. 

The encouragement held forth in this treaty was one great 
motive in leading these people to break tribal influences, so 
deleterious to improvement, and adopt our democratic civiliza- 
tion. Is it not base tyranny to disappoint them ? They are 
the first Sioux, if not the first Indians in the United States to 
adopt the spirit and life of our American civilization. They 
have of their own accord done just what the Government has 
been for generations trying to get the Indians to do. And 
now will the Government refuse this helping hand? To our 
shame, it has for two years refused. And why? Because the 
Indians said, " If we become civilized, it is necessary for us to 
break up tribal relations, and settle down like white men." 

In 1873 the Government at last yielded to this request, 
and sent out oxen, wagons, ploughs, etc., enough to stock thir- 
ty farms. In 1874, Dr. Williamson, having been appoints! ;i 
special agent for them, reports their progress: "They rill live 
in log-houses and wear citizens' dress. * * * One hundred and 
nineteen can read their own language fluently. They all go tu 


church regularly. They have broken one hundred and sev 
enty-seven acres of new prairie. Twenty new houses have been 
built. * * * They have cut and hauled two hundred cords of 
wood, hauling some of it forty miles to market. * * * They have 
done considerable freighting with their teams, going sometimes 
a hundred miles away. They have earned thirty-five hundred 
dollars, catching small furs. * * * One Indian has the contract 
for carrying the mail through Flandreau, for which he receives 
one thousand dollars a year. * * * It is but a few miles from 
Flandreau to the far-famed pipe -stone quarry, and these Indi- 
ans make many little sums by selling pipes, rings, ink-glasses, 
etc., made of this beautiful red stone. * * * They are anxious 
to be taught how to make baskets, mats, cloth ; and the young 
men ask to be taught the blacksmith and carpenter trades." 

This is a community that only five years before had pushed 
out into an unbroken wilderness without a dollar of money, 
without a plough, to open farms. " Without ploughs, they 
had to dig the sod with their hoes, and at the same time make 
their living by hunting. They suffered severe hardships, and 
a number of their best men perished in snow-storms. Believ- 
ing they were carrying out the wishes of the Great Father, as 
expressed in the treaty of 1868, to which they were parties, 
they were disappointed when for three years no notice was 
taken of them." There is something pathetic in the gratitude 
they are said now to feel for the niggardly gift of a few oxen, 
wagons, and ploughs. They have apparently given over all 
hope of ever obtaining any of the money due them on account 
of their lands sold in Minnesota. No further allusion is made 
to it by Dr. Williamson. 

From the Yankton Sioux this year comes a remarkable re- 
port : " We have no jail, no law except the treaty and the 
agent's word, yet we have no quarrels, no fighting, and, with 
one or two exceptions, not a single case of drunkenness during 
the year. This I consider remarkable, when we take into con- 


sideration the fact that the reservation is surrounded by ranches 
where liquors of all kinds can be obtained." Is there another 
village of two thousand inhabitants in the United States of 
vhich this can be said ? 

In this yeai a commission was sent to treat with some of 
the wilder bands of Sioux for the relinquishuient of their right 
to hunt and roam over a large part of their unn ceded territory 
in Kansas and Nebraska. Some of the chiefs consented. Red 
Cloud's band refused at first ; " but on being told that the right 
would soon be taken from them," after a delay of two days 
they " agreed to accept," merely stipulating that their share of 
the twenty-five thousand dollars promised should be paid in 
horses and guns. They insisted, however, on this proviso : 
"That we do not surrender any right of occupation of the 
country situated in Nebraska north of the divide, which is 
south of and near to the Niobrara River and west of the one 
hundredth meridian." 

It was a significant fact that, when these Sioux gave tip this 
hunting privilege, " they requested that nearly all the $>25,OOG 
they received in compensation for this rclinquishmcnt should 
be expended in cows, horses, harness, and wagons," says the ' 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1875. 

There are still some thousand or more of hostile Sioux roam- 
ing about under the famous chief Sitting Bull living by the 
chase when they can, and by depredations when they must ; 
occasionally, also, appearing at agencies, and drawing rations 
among the other Indians unsuspected. The remainder of the 
bands arc steadily working their way on toward civilization. 
The Santees arc a Christian community ; they have their indus- 
trial-schools, Sabbath-schools, and night-schools; they publish 
a monthly paper in the Dakota tongue, which prints twelve 
hundred copies. The Yanktons have learned to wc.ivo, and 
have made cloth enough to give every Indian woman in the 
tribe one good dress. The Flandrcau citizen Sioux Lave a 


Presbyterian church of one hundred and thirty-five members, 
and pay half the salary of the native preacher. On the occa- 
sion of an anniversary meeting of the Dakota missionaries 
there, these people raised one hundred dollars to pay for their 
entertainment. These three bands are far the most advanced, 
but all the others are making steady progress. 

In 1876 the news from the Sioux on the agencies is that, 
owing to the failure of appropriations, the Indian Bureau- had 
been unable to send the regular supplies, and the Indians, be- 
ing in " almost a starving condition," had been induced, by the 
" apparent purpose of the Government to abandon them to 
starvation," to go north in large numbers, and join the hostile 
camps of Sitting Bull This was in the spring j again in mid- 
summer the same thing happened, and many of the Indians, 
growing still more anxious and suspicious, left their agencies 
to join in the war. 

Congress would probably have paid little attention at this 
time to the reading of this extract from " Kent's Commenta- 
ries : " " Treaties of peace, when made by the competent power, 
are obligatory on the whole nation. If the treaty requires the 
payment of money to carry it into effect, and the money can- 
not be raised but by an act of the legislature, the treaty is 
morally obligatory upon the legislature to pass the law ; and 
to repeal it would be a breach of the public faith." 

A disturbed and unsettled condition of things prevailed 
at all the Sioux agencies, consequent on this state of things. 
Companies of troops were stationed at all of them to guard 
against outbreaks. Owing to lack of funds, the Tanktons 
were obliged to give up their weaving and basket-making. 
At the Standing Kock Agency, after the Indians had planted 
eight hundred and seventy-two dollars 7 worth of seeds of corn, 
potatoes, and other vegetables the grasshoppers came and de- 
voured them. " Many of these Indians, with their whole fami- 
lies, stood all day in their fields fighting these enemies, and in 



several places succeeded so far as to save a considerable part of 
their crops." The Santees were made very anxious and. un- 
liappy by fresh rumors of their probable removal, Public senti- 
ment at the East, knowing no difference between different tribes 
of Sioux, regarded it as maudlin sentimentalism to claim for the 
Santees any more rights than for the hostiles that had murdered 
General Ouster, One of the agents in Dakota writes : 

" The recent troubles in the Indian country, and the existing 
uncertainty as to the future intentions of the Government 
toward the Indians, occasion considerable uneasiness among 
them. * * * Eeports are circulated that no further assistance 
will "be rendered by the Government, as the Great Council in 
Washington refuses to furnish money unless the Indians are 
turned over to the War Department. Every inducement is 
held out to encourage secession from the agencies, and strength- 
en the forces of the hostile camp. It is not surprising that, in 
view of the non-arrival of supplies, and the recent order of the 
War Department to arrest parties leaving and arriving, that 
people less credulous than Indians would feel undecided and 
uneasy. * * * It must be remembered that the whole Sioux 
nation is related, and that there is hardly a man, woman, or 
child in the hostile camp who has not blood relations at one or 
the other of the agencies." 

Contrast the condition into which all those friendly Indians 
are suddenly plunged now, with their condition only two years 
previous ; martial law now in force on all their reservations ; 
themselves in danger of starvation, and constantly exposed to the 
influence of emissaries from their friends and relations, urging 
them to join in fighting this treacherous government that Lad 
kept faith with nobody neither with friend nor with foe ; 
that inado no discriminations in its warfare between friends and 
foos j burning villages occupied only by women and children ; 
butchering hands of Indians living peacefully under protection 
of its Hag, as at Sand Creek, in Colorado no wonder thai 


one of the military commander's official reports says, "The 
hostile body was largely re-enforced by accessions from the va- 
rious agencies, where the malcontents were, doubtless, in many 
cases, driven to desperation by starvation and the heartless 
frauds perpetrated on them ; " and that the Interior Department 
is obliged to confess that, " Such desertions were krgely due 
to the uneasiness which the -Indians had long felt on account 
of the infraction of treaty stipulations by the white invasion 
of the Black Hills, seriously aggravated at the most critical pe- 
riod by irregular and insufficient issues of rations, necessitated 
by inadequate and delayed appropriations." 

It was at this time that Sitting Bull made his famous reply : 
" Tell them at Washington if they have one man who speaks 
the truth to send him to me, and I will listen to what he Las 
to say." 

The story of the military campaign against these hostile 
Sioux in 1876 and 1877 is to be read in the official records 
of the War Department, so far as statistics can tell it. Another 
history, which can never be read, is written in the hearts of 
widowed women in the Sioux nation and in the nation of the 
United States. 

Before midsummer the Sioux war was over. The indomi- 
table Sitting Bull had escaped to Canada that sanctuary of 
refuge for the Indian as weU as for the slave. Here he was 
visited in the autumn by a commission from the United 
States, empowered by the President to invite him with his 
people to return, and be " assigned to agencies," and treated 
"in as friendly a spirit as other Indians had been who had 
surrendered." It was explained to him that every one of the 
Indians who had surrendered had "been treated in the same 
manner as those of your nation who, during all the past 
troubles, remained peaceably at their agencies." As a great 
part of those who had fled from these same agencies to join 
Sitting Bull had done so because they were starving, and the 


Government knew this (had printed the record of the fact in 
the reports of two of its' Departments), this was certainly a 
strange phraseology of invitation for it to address to Sitting 
Bull. His replies and those of his chiefs were full of scathing 
sarcasm. Secure on British soil, they had for once safe free- 
dom of speech as well as of action, and they gave the United 
States Commissioners very conclusive reasons why they chose 
to remain in Canada, where they could " trade with the traders 
and make a living," and where their women had "time to 
raise their children." * 

The commissioners returned from their bootless errand, and 
the Interior Department simply entered on its records the state- 
ment that " Sitting Bull and his adherents are no longer con- 
sidered wards of the Government." It also enters on the same 
record the statement that " in the months of September and 
October, 1876, the various Sioux agencies were visited by a 
commission appointed under the Act of Congress, August 15th 
of that year, to negotiate with the Sioux for an agreement to 
surrender that portion of the Sioux Ecservation which included 
the Black Hills, and certain hunting privileges outside that re- 
serve, guaranteed by the treaty of 18G8; to grant a right of 
way across their reserve ; and to provide for the removal of the 
Red Cloud and Spotted Tail bands to new agencies on the Mis- 
souri River. The commission were also authorized to take steps 
to gain the consent of the Sioux to their removal to the Indian 
Territory. * * * The commission were successful in all the ne- 
gotiations with which they were charged, and the Indians niado 
every concession that was desired by the Government, although 
we were engaged at that very time in fighting their relatives 
and friends." The only comment needed on this last para- 
graph is to suggest that a proper list of oirulu for that page 
should contain : " For ' although ' read ' because ! ' " " On bo- 
half of the United States the agreement thus entered into pro- 

* See Appendix. Art. V. 


vided for subsisting the Sioux on a stated ration until they 
should become self-supporting ; for furnishing schools, and all 
necessary aid and instruction in agriculture and the mechanical 
arts, and for the allotment of lands in severalty." 

In accordance with this act, a commission was sent to select 
a location on the Missouri Eiver for the two new Sioux agen- 
cies (the Eed Cloud and Spotted Tail). 

" For the former the site chosen is the junction of Yellow 
Medicine and Missouri rivers, and at that point agency build- 
ings have just been erected," says the Eeport of the Indian 
Bureau for 1877. "For the latter the old Ponca Reserve was 
decided on, where the agency buildings, storehouses, one hun- 
dred and fifty Indian houses, and five hundred acres of culti- 
vated fields, left vacant by the Poncas, offer special advantages 
for present quarters." 

The commissioner says : " The removal of fourteen thousand 
Sioux Indians at this season of the year, a distance of three 
hundred miles from their old agencies in Nebraska to their 
new quarters near the Missouri Eiver, is not a pleasant matter 
to contemplate. Neither the present Secretary of the Interior 
nor the present Commissioner of Indian Affairs is responsible 
for the movement, but they have carried out the law faithfully 
though reluctantly. The removal is being made in accord- 
ance with the Act of August 15th, 1876. It is proper to say 
here that I cannot but look on the necessity thus imposed by 
law on the executive branch of the Government as an unfor- 
tunate one, and the consequences ought to be remedied as 
speedily as possible. 

" Let us for a moment consider that the Spotted Tail Agency 
was in 1871 on the west bank of the Missouri Eiver, where 
the whites became exceedingly troublesome, and the river 
afforded abundant facilities for the introduction of intoxicat- 
ing liquors. In 1874 the Eed Cloud and Spotted Tail agen- 
cies were removed to what a subsequent survey proved to be 


the State of Nebraska d;he former agency one hundred and 
sixty-five miles from Cheyenne, and the latter one hundred and 
eight miles from Sidney, the nearest points on the Union Pacific 
Eailroad. Here the usual ill-fortune attending the removal 
of these Indians was again exemplified in placing the agencies 
on absolutely barren land, where there was no possibility of 
cultivating the soil, no hope of their being enabled to become 
self-supporting, and where they luive of necessity been kept in 
the hopeless condition of paupers." 

In the hope of placing these Indians upon arable land, 
where they might become civilized and self-supporting, the 
determination was hastily taken to remove them back to the 
Missouri River. This step was taken without a proper exami- 
nation of other points on their reservation, where it is stated 
that " a sufficient quantity of excellent wheat lands can bo 
found on either bank of the White River, and where there is 
also timber sufficient in quantity and quality for all practical 
purposes. *** The Indian chiefs, in their interview with the 
President in September last, begged that they might not be 
sent to the Missouri River, as whiskey-drinking and other 
demoralization would be the consequence. This was the judg- 
ment of the best men of the tribe ; but the necessity was one 
that the President could not control. The provisions and 
supplies for the ensuing winter had been placed, according to 
law, on the Missouri, and, owing to the lateness of the season, 
it was impossible to remove them to the old agencies. Accord- 
ingly, the necessities of the case compelled the removal of 
these Indians in the midst of the snows and storms of early 
winter, which have already set in." 

If there were absolutely no other record written of the man- 
agement of Indian affairs by the Interior Department than 
this one page of the history of these two bands of the Sioux 
tribe, this alone would bo enough to show the urgent niiuil of 
an entirely new system. So many and such hasty, ill-con- 


sidered, uninformed, capricious, and cme A decisions of arbitrary 
power could hardly be found in a seven years' record of any 
known tyrant ; and thero is no tyrant whose throne would not 
have been rocked, if not upset, by the revolutions which would 
have followed on such oppressions. 

There is a sequel to this story of the removal of the Red 
Cloud and Spotted Tail bands a sequel not recorded in the 
official reports of the Department, but familiar to many men 
in the Western country. Accounts of it some humorous, 
some severe were for some time floating about in "Western 

The Eed Cloud and Spotted Tail bands of Sioux consented 
to go to the old Ponca Eeserve only after being told that all 
their supplies had been sent to a certain point on the Missouri 
Eiver with a view to this move ; and it being too late to take_ 
all this freight northward again, they would starve if they 
stayed where they were. Being assured that they would be 
allowed to go back in the spring, and having a written pledge 
from General Crook (in whose word they had implicit faith) 
that the Government would fulfil this promise, they at last 
very reluctantly consented to go to the Ponca Keserve for 
the winter. In the spring no orders came for the removal. 
March passed, April passed no orders. The chiefs sent 
word to their friend, General Crook, who replied to them with 
messages sent by a swift runner, begging them not to break 
away, but to wait a. little longer. Finally, in May, the Com- 
missioner of Indian Affairs went himself to hold a council 
with them. When he rose to speak, the chief Spotted Tail 
sprung up, walked toward him, waving in his hand the paper 
containing the promise of the Government to return them to 
White Clay Creek, and exclaimed, "All the men who come 
from Washington are liars, and the bald-headed ones are the 
worst of all ! I don't want to hear one word from you you 
are a bald-headed old liar ! You have but one thing to do here, 


and that is to give an order for us to return to Wliito Clay 
Creek. Here are your written words ; and if you don't give 
this order, and everything here is not 011 wheels inside of ten 
days, I'll order my youug men to tear down and bum every- 
thing in this part of the country ! I don't want to hear any- 
thing more from you, and I'vo gob nothing more to say to 
you ; v and he turned his back on the commissioner and walked 
away. Such language as this would not have been borne from 
unarmed and helpless Indians ; but whon it came from a chief 
with four thousand armod warriors at his back, it was another 
affair altogether. The order was written. In less than ten 
days everything was "on wheels," and the whole body of 
these Sioux on the move to the country they had indicated ; 
and the Secretary of the Interior says, naively, in his Report 
for 1868, "Tho Indians were found to be quite determined to 
move westward, and the promise of the Government in that 
respect was faithfully kept." 

The reports from all the bands of Sioux for the past two 
years have been full of indications of their rapid and encour- 
aging improvement. "The most decided advance in civiliza- 
tion has been made by the Ogallalla and Brulc Sioux," 
says the Eeport of the Indian Bureau for 1879. "Their 
progress during the last year and a half has been simply 

And yet this one band of Ogallalla Sioux has been moved, 
since 1863, eight times. Is it not a wonder that they have 
any heart to work, any hope of anything in the future ? 

" It is no longer a question," says this same report, " whether 
Indians will work. They are steadily asking for opportunities 
to do so, and the Indians who to-day are willing and anxious 
to engage in civilized labor are largely in tho majority ; * * * 
there is an almost universal call for lands in severalty ; * * * 
there is a growing desire to live in houses ; the demand for 
agricultural implements and appliances, and for wagons and 


harness for fanning and freighting purposes, is constantly in- 

That all this should be true of these wild, -warlike Sioux, 
after so many years of hardships and forced wanderings and 
removals, is incontrovertible proof that there is in them a na- 
tive strength of character, power of endurance, and indomitable 
courage, which will make of them ultimately a noble and supe- 
rior race of people, if civilization will only give them time to 
become civilized, and Christians will leave them time and peace 
to learn Christianity. 




IN 1803 Captain Lewis and Lieutenant Clarke, of the First 
United States Infantry, were commissioned by Congress to ex- 
plore the river Missouri from its mouth to its source, to " seek 
the best water communication from thence to the Pacific 
Ocean," and to enter into conference with all the Indian tribes 
on their route, with a view to the establishment of commerce 
with them. They report the " Poncars " as " the remnant of a 
nation once respectable in point of numbers ; they formerly re- 
sided on a branch of the Ecd River of Lake Winnipeg; being 
oppressed by Sioux, they removed to the west side of the Mis- 
souri, on Poncar Biver, where they built and fortified a village, 
and remained some years ; but, being pursued by their ancient 
enemies, the Sioux, and reduced by continual wars, they have 
joined and now live with the Mahas (Omahas), whose language 
they speak." Their numbers are estimated by Lewis and Clarke 
as being only about two hundred, all tolil ; but this small esti- 
mate is probably to be explained by the fact that at this time 
the tribe was away on its annual buffalo-hunt, and their village 
had been so long empty and quiet that a buffalo was found 
grazing there. A few years later the tribe is reckoned at four 
hundred : in a census of the Indian tribes, taken by General 
Porter in 1829, they are set down at six hundred. The artist 
Catlin, who visited them a few years later, rated them a little 
less. He gives an interesting account of the chief of the tribe, 
named Shoo-de-ga-cha (Smoke), and his young and pretty wife, 
Hee-la'h-dee (the Pure Fountain), whose portraits he painted. 


He says : " The chief, who was wrapped in a buffalo-robe, is a 
noble specimen of native dignity and philosophy. I conversed 
much with him, and from his dignified manners, as well as from 
the soundness of his reasoning, I became fully convinced that 
he deserved to be the sachem of a more numerous and prosper- 
ous tribe. He related to me with great coolness and frankness 
the poverty and distress of his nation and with the method of 
a philosopher predicted the certain and rapid extinction of his 
tribe, which he had not the power to avert. Poor, noble chief, 
who was equal to and worthy of a greater empire ! He sat on 
the deck of the steamer, overlooking the little cluster of his 
wigwams mingled among the trees, and, like Caius Marius 
weeping over the ruins of Carthage, shed tears as he was des- 
canting on the poverty of his ill-fated little community, which 
he told me had ' once been powerful and happy ; that the buf- 
faloes which the Great Spirit had given them for food, and 
which formerly spread all over their green prairies, had all been 
killed or driven out by the approach of white men, who wanted 
their skins ; that their country was now entirely destitute of 
game, and even of roots for food, as it was one continuous prai- 
rie ; and that his young men, penetrating the countries of their 
enemies for buffaloes, which they were obliged to do, were cut 
to pieces and destroyed in great numbers. That his people had 
foolishly become fond of fire-water, and had given away every- 
thing in their country for it ; that it had destroyed many of 
his warriors, and would soon destroy the rest ; that his tribe 
was too small and his warriors too few to go to war with the 
tribes around them ; that they were met and killed by the Sioux 
on the north, by the Pawnees on the west, by the Osages and 
Konzas on the south, and still more alarmed from the constant 
advance of the pale faces their enemies from the east with 
whiskey and small-pox, which already had destroyed four-fifths 
of his tribe, and would soon impoverish and at last destroy the 
remainder of them. 1 In this way did this shrewd philosopher 


lament over the unlucky destiny of his tribe, and I pitied him 
with all my heart." 

The day before Catlin arrived at this village this old chiefs 
son. the young Hongs-kay-de had created a great sensation 
in the community by accomplishing a most startling amount 
of bigamy in a single day. Being the chiefs son, and having 
just been presented by his father with a handsome wig wain 
and nine horses, he had no difficulty whatever in ingratiating 
himself with the fathers of marriageable daughters, and had, 
with ingenious slyness, offered himself to and been accepted 
by four successive fathers-in-law, promising to each of them 
two horses enjoining on them profound secrecy until a cer- 
tain hour, when he would announce to the whole tribe that 
he was to be married. At the time appointed he appeared, 
followed by some of his young friends leading eight horses. 
Addressing the prospective father-in-law who stood nearest 
him, with his daughter by his side, he said, " You promised mo 
your daughter : here are the two horses." A great hubbub 
immediately arose ; the three others all springing forward, an- 
gry and perplexed, claiming his promises made to them. Tho 
triumphant young Turk exclaimed, " You have all now acknowl- 
edged your engagements to me, and must fulfil them. Hero 
are your horses." There was nothing moro to bo said. Tho 
horses were delivered, and Hongs-kay-do, leading two brides in 
each hand, walked off with great dignity to his wigwam. 

This was an affair totally unprecedented in the annals of tho 
tribe, and produced an impression as profound as it could havo 
done in a civilized community, though of a different character 
redounding to tho young prince's credit rather than to his 
shame marking him out as one daring and original enough 
to bo a " Big Medicine." Mr. Catlin says that ho visited tho 
bridal wigwam soon afterward, and saw the " four modest little 
wives seated around the fire, seeming to harmonize very well.'* 
Of the prettiest one " Mong-shong-shaw " (tho Bending Wil- 


low) he took a portrait, and a ?ery sweet-faced young woman 
she is too, wrapped in a beautifully ornamented fur robe, much 
handsomer and more graceful that' the fur-lined circulars worn 
by civilized women. 

The United States' first treaty v ith this handful of gentle 
and peaceable Indians was made in .181 7. It was simply a 
treaty of peace and friendship. 

In 1825 another was made, in which the Poncas admit 
that " they reside within the territorial limits of the United 
States, acknowledge their supremacy, and claim their protec- 
tion." They also admit "the right of the United! States to 
regulate all trade and intercourse with them." The United 
States, on their part, " agree to receive the Poncar tribe of In- 
dians into their friendship and under their protection, and to 
extend to them from time to time such benefits and acts of 
kindness as may be convenient, and seem just and proper to 
the President of the United States." 

After this there is little mention, in the official records of the 
Government, of the Poncas for some thirty years. Other tribes 
in the Upper Missouri region were so troublesome and aggres- 
sive that the peaceable Poncas were left to shift for themselves 
as they best could amidst all the warring and warring interests by 
which they were surrounded. In 1856 the agent of the Upper 
Platte mentions incidentally that their lands were being fast 
intruded upon by squatters ; and in 1857 another agent reports 
having met on the banks of the Missouri a large band of Pon- 
cas, who made complaint that all the Indians on the river were 
receiving presents and they were overlooked ; that the men from 
the steamboats cut their trees down, and that white settlers 
were taking away all their land. In 1858 the Commissioner 
for Indian Affairs writes : " Treaties were entered into in 
March and April last with the Poncas and Yankton Sioux, 
who reside west of Iowa, for the purpose of extinguishing theii 
title to all the lands occupied and claimed by them, except 


small portions on which to colonize and domesticate them. 
This proceeding was deemed (necessary in order to obtain such 
control over these Indians a-3 to prevent their interference with 
our settlements, which are rapidly extending in that direction. 
These treaties were duly Uid before the Senate at its last reg- 
ular session, but were r i0 t, it is understood, finally acted on 
by that body. 

" Kelying on the ratification of their treaty, and the adoption 
of timely measure^- to carry out its provisions in their favor 
the Poncas pr&ceeded in good faith to comply with its stip- 
ulations byalkndoning their settlements and hunting-grounds, 
ancLvlfhdrawing to the small tract reserved for their future 
home. Being without a crop to rely upon, and having been 
unsuccessful in their usual summer hunt, they were reduced to 
a state of desperation and destitution. As nothing had been 
done for them under the treaty, they concluded it was void, 
and threatened to fall back upon their former settlements, somo 
of the most important of which had, in the mean time, been 
taken possession of by numerous white persons." 

The Poncas never heard of Grotius or Yattel ; but, in assum- 
ing that the treaty was void because it was not fulfilled, they 
only acted on the natural principles of tho law of nations and 
of treaties, as laid down by all authorities. Thucydidcs said : 
" They are not the first breakers of a league who, being desert- 
ed, seek for aid to others, but they that perform not by their 
deeds what they have promised to do upon their oaths." 

In consequence of this delay to fulfil the treaty provisions, 
the Government was forced to stop in at tho last moment ami 
" incur a heavy expense " in furnishing the Poncas with food 
enough to keep them from starving ; and in 1850, under this 
pressure, the Senate ratified tho treaty, Ly it the Poncas 
ceded and relinquished to tlio United States all the lam Is limy 
had over owned or claimed, " wherever situate," except a snuill 
tract between the Ponca and Mobraru rivers, lu consideration 


of this cession, the United States Government agreed " to pro- 
tect the Poncas in the possession of this tract of land, and 
their persons and property thereon, during good behavior on 
their part ; to pay them annuities annually for thirty years 
$12,000 for the first five years, then $10,000 for ten years, 
then $8000 for fifteen years ; to expend $20,000 for their sub- 
sistence during the first year, for building houses, etc. ; to es- 
tablish schools, and to build mills, mechanics' shops, etc. ; to 
give $20,000 for the payment of the existing obligations of . 
the tribe." 

Two years later the agent newly appointed to take charge of 
the Poncas reports to the Department the amount of improve- 
ments made on the reservation : " One saw and grist-mill ; two 
agency houses story and a half houses without -inside lining 
or plastering, 16 by 26 and 18 by 32 feet in size; six small 
round log-houses (three with a small shed for a stable), a light 
log-corral for cattle, and a canvas shed for storing under ; and 
about sixty acres of ground, broken, comprised all the improve- 

Evidently a very small part of the $20,000 had been spent 
as yet. He did not find an Indian on the reservation. From 
fear of the Sioux (who in 1860 had stolen from them more 
than half the horses they owned) they had moved down the 
Niobrara Eiver, some twenty miles nearer the Missouri. It was 
with the greatest difficulty that the agent induced them to re- 
turn; and after they did so, they huddled their tents close 
about the agency buildings, and could not be induced to go 
half a mile away unless accompanied by some of the white 

As the agent had no food to feed them with, and no money 
to buy any (spite of the appropriation of $20,000 for subsist- 
ence and house-building), he induced them to go off on a hunt; 
but in less than a month they came straggling back, " begging 
for provisions for their women and children, whom they had 


left on the plains half-starved, having been unable to find any 
game, or any food except wild-turnips. Some of them went 
to visit the Omahas, others the Pawnees, where they remained 
until the little corn they had planted produced roasting-ears. 
In the mean time those who were here subsisted mainly on 
wild-cherries and plums and the wild-turnip, and traded away 
most of their blankets and annuity goods for provisions." 

In 1863 the reports are still more pitiful. " They started 
on their summer hunt toward the last of May, immediately 
after the first hoeing of their corn. At first they were success- 
ful and found buffaloes j but afterward, the ground being occu- 
pied by the Yanktons, who were sent south of the Niobrara 
by the general commanding the district, and who wore about 
double the number, and with four times as many horses, they 
soon consumed what meat they had cured, and were compelled 
to abandon the chase. They commenced to return in the lat- 
ter part of July. They went away with very high hopes, and 
reasonably so, of a large crop, but returned to see it all with- 
ered and dried up. In the mean time the plains had been burnt 
over, so that they could not discover the roots they are in the 
habit of digging. Even the wild-plums, which grow on bushes 
down in ravines and gullies, are withered and dried on the 
limbs. The building I occupy was constantly surrounded by a 
hungry crowd begging for food. * * * I am warned by military 
authority to keep the Poncas within the limits of the reserva- 
tion ; hut this is an impossibility. There is nothing within its 
limits, nor can anything be obtained in sufficient quantity, or 
brought here soon enough to keep thorn from starving. * * * 
The Poncas have behaved well quite as well, if not better 
than, under like circumstances, tho same number of whites 
would have done. I have known \vholo families to live for 
days together on nothing but half-dried corn-stalks, and this 
when thcro wero cattlo and sheep in their sight." 

At this time martial law was in force on many of tho Indian 


reservations, owing to the presence of roving bands of hostile 
Sioux, driven from Minnesota after their outbreak there. 

The Poncas through all these troubles remained loyal and 
peaceable, and were "unwavering in their fidelity to their 
treaty," says the Indian Commissioner. 

In December of this year what the governmental reports call 
" a very unfortunate occurrence " took place in Nebraska. A 
party of Poncas, consisting of four men, six women, three boys, 
and two girls, returning from a visit to the Omalias, had 
camped for the night about twelve miles from their o\ni reser- 
vation. In the night a party of soldiers from a military post 
on the Niobrara Eiver came to their camp, and began to insult 
the squaws, " offering money with one hand, and presenting a 
revolver with the other." The Indians, alarmed, pulled up 
their lodge, and escaped to a copse of willows near by. The 
soldiers fired at them as they ran away, and then proceeded to 
destroy all their effects. They cut the lodge covers to pieces, 
burnt the saddles and blankets, cut open sacks of beans, corn, 
and dried pumpkin, and strewed their contents on the ground, 
and went away, taking with them a skin lodge-covering, bea- 
ver-skins, buffalo-robes, blankets, guns, and all the small ar- 
ticles. The Indians' ponies were hid in the willows. Early 
in the morning they returned with these, picked up all the corn 
which had not been destroyed, and such other articles as they 
could find, packed their ponies as best they might, and set off 
barefooted for home. After they had gone a few miles they 
stopped and built a fire to parch some corn to eat. Some of 
the women and children went to look for wild-beans, leaving 
three women and a child at the camp. Here the soldiers came 
on them again. As soon as the Indians saw them coming they 
fled. The soldiers fired' on them, wounding one woman by 
a ball through her thigh ; another, with a child on her back, 
by two balls through the child's thighs, one of which passed 
through the mother's side. These women were fired on as 


they were crossing the river on the ice. The soldiers then 
took possession of the six ponies and all the articles at the 
camp, and left. The squaws and children "who were looking 
for beans were half a mile below ; a little dog belonging to 
them barked and revealed their hiding-place in the willows. 
The soldiers immediately turned on them, dismounted, and, 
making up to them, deliberately shot them dead as they hud- 
dled helplessly together three women and a little girl ! 

One of the boys, a youth, ran for the river, pursued by the 
soldiers. On reaching the river lie dived into the water through 
a hole in the ice ; as often as he lifted his head they fired at 
him.. After they went away he crawled out and escaped to 
the agency. One of the murdered women, the mother of this 
boy, had three balls in her head and cheek, her throat cut, and 
her head half-severed by a sabre-thrust j another, the youngest 
woman, had her cloth skirt taken off and carried away, and all 
her other clothes torn from her body, leaving it naked ! 

The men who did this deed belonged to Company B of tho 
Seventh Iowa Cavalry. 

The outrage was promptly reported to the Department, and 
the general commanding the Nebraska District detailed an 
officer to examine into it. There was some correspondence be- 
tween the military authorities relative to it, but with no result ; 
and in the report of the next year tho Indian Commissioner 
says : " Attention was called last year to the fact that the mur- 
derers of several of this loyal and friendly tribe had not boon 
discovered and punished. I trust that, as there secins to be no 
probability that this will be done, a special appropriation may 
be made for presents to the relatives of the deceased." 

In 1865 a supplementary treaty was made with the Poncas, 
extending their reservation down the Niobrara to the Missouri 
River; and tho Government agreed to pay them $15,000, for 
tho purpose of indemnifying them for tho loss they had sus- 
tained in this outrage and in others. For the ratification t.f 


this treaty also they waited two years ; and in 1867 the Super- 
intendent of the Dakota Territory says : " Schools would have 
been in operation at the Ponca Agency hefore this time but for 
the long delay in ratifying the supplementary treaty of 1865 ; 
and now that this measure has fortunately been accomplished, 
there can be no further necessity for delay, and it is confidently 
believed another year will witness the foundation and rapid 
progress of an English school at this agency." 

This superintendent, having been in office only one year, was 
probably not familiar with the provisions of the treaty of 1859 
with the Poncas, in which, by Article three, the United States 
Government had promised "to establish and maintain for -ten 
years,. at an annual expense not to exceed $5,000, one or more 
manual labor schools for the education and training of the Ponca 
youth in letters, agriculture, mechanics, and housewifery." 

This educational annuity has but one more year to run, 
whatever may have been done with it up to this time, it really 
is now being spent on schools, and it seems a great pity that 
it should soon cease. The Governor of Dakota, in 1868, evi- 
dently thinks so too, for he writes to the Department, in the 
autumn of 1868 : " A school has been in successful operation 
at this agency (the Ponca) for the past nine months, with an 
average attendance of about fifty scholars, and with every evi- 
dence of advancement in the primary department of an English 
education. Bat just at this interesting period of its existence 
we are notified by the agent that with this fiscal year all funds 
for school as well as for agricultural purposes cease, agreeably 
to the terms and conditions of their original treaty. This will 
be a serious and irreparable calamity if not remedied by the 
most generous action of the Government. If funds for this 
purpose cannot be otherwise procured, the Poncas are willing 
and anxious to transfer their old reservation to the Government 
for a moderate extension of these important and indispensable 


The governor also says that in the past year the Poncas have 
paid out of their annuity money for all the improvements which 
had been^made on lands occupied by certain white settlers, who 
were ejected from their new reservation by the terms of the last 

In the report for 1869 we read that the Ponca school has 
been " discontinued for want of funds." The Department ear- 
nestly recommends an appropriation of $25,000 to put it in 
operation again. The now Governor of Dakota seconds the 
recommendation, and regrets to say that, "for the enlighten- 
ment of the 35,000 Indians embraced in the Dakota Snporin- 
tendency, there is not one school in operation." 

In 1870 an appropriation of $5,000 was made by the Depart- 
ment from a general educational fund, for the purpose of re- 
suming this school. The condition of the Poncas now is, on 
the whole, encouraging ; they are " not only willing, but ex- 
tremely anxious to learn the arts by which they may become 
self-supporting, and conform to the usages of white men. With 
the comparatively small advantages that have been afforded 
them, their advancement has "been very great." 

In the summer of 1869 they built for themselves sixteen 
very comfortable log-houses ; in the summer of 1870 they built 
forty-four more ; with their annuity money they bought cook- 
stoves, cows, and useful implements of labor. They worked 
most assiduously in putting in their crops, but lost them all 
by drought, and are in real danger of starvation if the Govern- 
ment does not assist them. All this while they see herds of 
cattle driven across their reservation to feed the lately hostile 
Sioux flour, coffee, sugar, tobacco, by the wagon-load, distrib- 
uted to them while their own always peaceable, always loyal, 
long-suffering tribe is digging wild roots to cat, and in actual 
danger of starvation. Nevertheless they are not discouraged, 
knowing that but for the drought they would have had ample 
food from their farins ; and they make no attempts to retaliate 


on the Sioux for raiding off their horses and stock, because 
they hope "that the Government will keep its faith with 
them," and that suitable remuneration for these losses will be 
made them, according to the treaty stipulations. 

For the next two years they worked industriously and well ; 
three schools were established j a chapel was built by the Epis- 
copal mission ; the village began to assume the appearance of 
permanence and thrift; but misfortune had not yet parted 
company with the Poncas. In the summer of 1873 the Mis- 
souri River suddenly overflowed, washed away its banks ^rmn- 
dreds of yards back, and entirely ruined the Ponca village. 
By working night and day for two weeks the Indians saved 
most of the buildings, carrying them half a mile inland to be 
sure of safety. The site of their village became the bed of the 
main channel of the river \ their cornfields were ruined, and 
the lands for miles in every direction washed and torn up by 
the floods. 

" For nearly two weeks," the agent writes, " the work of sal- 
vage from the ever-threatening destruction occupied our whole 
available force night and day. We succeeded in carrying from 
the river bank to near half a mile inland the whole of the 
agency buildings, mechanics' houses, stabling, and sheds 
more than twenty houses nearly every panel of fencing. 
The Poncas worked well and long, often through the night ; 
and the fact that the disaster did not cost us ten dollars of act- 
ual loss is to be attributed to their labor, continuous and per- 
severing working sometimes over the swiftly-flowing waters, 
terrible and turbid, on the edge of the newly-formed current 
but a few inches below them, and into which a fall would have 
been certain death, even for an Indian." 

In one year after this disaster they had recovered themselves 
marvellously; built twenty new houses ; owned over a hundred 
head of cattle and fifty wagons, and put three hundred acres of 
land under cultivation (about three acres to each male in the 


tribe). But this year was not to close without a disaster. 
First came a drought ; then three visitations of locusts, one 
after the other, which so completely stripped the fields that 
"nothing was left but a few prematurely dry stalks and 
straw." One hundred young trees which had been set out 
box-elder, soft maple, and others withered and died. 

In 1875 the locusts came again, destroyed the corn and oats, 
but left the wheat. Much of this crop, however, was lost, as 
there was only ono reaping-machine on the agency, and it 
could not do all of the work. Many of the Indians saved a 
part of their crop by cutting it with large butcher-knives ; but 
this was slow, and much of the wheat dried up and perished 
before it could bo harvested by this tedious process. 

This year was also marked by a flagrant instance of the 
helplessness of Indians in the courts. Two Poncas wore way- 
laid by a party of Santees, one of the Poncas murdered, and 
the other seriously wounded. This occurred at tho Yankton 
Agency, where both parties wore visiting. When tho case was 
brought up before the courts, a motion was made to quash the 
indictment for want of jurisdiction, and the judge was obliged 
to sustain the motion, there being under the present laws no 
jurisdiction whatever " over crimes committed by one Indian 
on the person or property of another Indian in the Indian 

In 1876 the project of consolidating all the Indians in the 
United States upon a few reservations began to bo discussed 
and urged. If this plan were carried out, it would bo tho 
destiny of the Poncas to go to tho Indian Territory. It waa 
very gratuitously assumed that, as they had been anxious to 
be allowed to remove to Nebraska and join tho Omalias, thej 
would be equally ready to remove to Indian Territory a 
process of reasoning whose absurdity would be very plainly 
seen if it were attempted to apply it in the case of white inon. 

After a series of negotiations, protestations, delays, and be- 

POKCAS. 199 

wilderroents, tlie tribe at last gave what tlie United States Gov- 
ernment chose to call a " consent " to the removal. The story 
of the influences, deceits, coercions "brought to bear on these 
unfortunate creatures before this was brought about, is one of 
the most harrowing among the harrowing records of our deal- 
ings with the Indians. A party of chiefs were induced, in the 
first place, to go, in company with a United States inspector 
Kemble by name to the Indian Territory, to see whether the 
country would suit them. It was distinctly promised to them 
that, if it did not suit them, they should then be permitted to 
go to Washington and consult with the President as to some 
further plan for their establishment. 

The story of this journey and of its results is best told in 
the words of one of the Ponca chiefs, Standing Bear. No of- 
ficial document, no other man's narrative no, not if a second 
Homer should arise to sing it could tell the story so well as 
he tells it : 

" We lived on our land as long as we can remember. No 
one knows how long ago we came there. The land was owned 
by our tribe as far back as memory of men goes. 

" We were living quietly on our farms. All of a sudden 
one white man came. We had no idea what for. This was 
the inspector. He came to our tribe with Eev. Mr. Hinman. 
These two, with the agent, James Lawrence, they made our 

" They said the President told us to pack up that we must 
move to the Indian Territory. 

" The inspector said to us : ' The President says you must 
sell this land. He' will buy it and pay you the money, and give 
you new land in the Indian Territory.' 

" We said to him : ' We do not know your authority. You 
have no right to move us till we have had council with the 

u We said to him : ' When two persons wish to make a bar 


gain, they can talk together and find out what each wants, and 
then make their agreement. 7 

" We said to him : i We do not wish to go. When a man 
owns anything, he does not let it go till he has received pay- 
ment for it/ 

" We said to him : ' We will see the President first.' 

" He said to us : 'I will take you to see the new land. If 
you like it, then you can see the President, and tell him so. If 
not, then you can see him and tell him so.' And he took all 
ten of our chiefs down. I went, and Bright Eyes' uncle went. 
He took us to look at three different pieces of land. Ho said 
we must take one of the three pieces, so the President said. 
After he took us down there he said : ' No pay for the land you 

" We said to him : ' You have forgotten -what you said be- 
fore we started. You said we should have pay for our land. 
Now you say not. You told us then you were speaking truth.' 
All these three men took us down there. The man got very 
angry. He tried to compel us to take one of the three pieces 
of land. He told us to bo bravo. Ho said to us : ' If you do 
not accept these, I will leave you here alone. You are one 
thousand miles from home. You have no money. You have 
no interpreter, and you cannot speak the language. 1 And ho 
went out and slammed the door. The man talked to us from 
long before sundown till it was nine o'clock at night. 

" We said to him : ' We do not like this land. We could 
not support ourselves. The water is bad. Now send us to 
Washington, to toll the President, as you promised.' 

"He said to us : l The President did not toll me to take you 
to Washington ; neither did ho toll mo to take you home.' 

" We said to him : ' You have the Indian money you took 
to bring us down here. That money belongs to us. We would 
like to have some of it. People do not give away food for 
nothing. We must have money to buy food on the road.' 


" He said to us : 'I will not give you a cent.' 

" We said to him : ' We are in a strange country. We can- 
not find our way home. Give us a pass, that people may show 
us our way.' 

" He said : c I will not give you any.' 

" We said to him : ' This interpreter is ours. We pay him. 
Let him go with us.' 

" He said : ' You shall not have the interpreter. He is mine, 
and not yours.' 

" We said to him : ' Take us at least to the railroad ; show 
us the way to that.' 

" And he would not. He left us right there. It was winter. 
We started for home on foot. At night we slept in hay-stacks. 
We harely lived till morning, it was so cold. We had nothing 
but our hlankets. We took the ears of corn that had dried in 
the fields ; we ate it raw. The soles of our moccasins wore 
out. We were barefoot in the snow. We were nearly dead 
when we reached the Otoe Eeserve. It had been fifty days. 
We stayed there ten days to strengthen up, and the Otoes gave 
each of us a pony. The agent of the Otoes told us he had re* 
ceived a telegram from the inspector, saying that the Indian 
chiefs had run away ; not to give us food or shelter, or help in 
any way. The agent said : 'I would like to understand. Tell 
me all that has happened. Tell me the truth.' " 

(This Otoe agent afterward said, that when the chiefs en- 
tered his room they left the prints of their feet in blood on the 
floor as they came in.) 

" Then we told our story to the agent and to the Otoe chiefs 
how we had been left down there to find our way. 

" The agent said : ' I can hardly believe it possible that any 
one could have treated you so. That inspector was a poor man 
to have done this. If I had taken chiefs in this way, I would 
have brought them home , I could not have left them there.' 

" In seven days we reached the Omaha Reservation. Then 



we sent a telegram to tho President : asked him if he had au- 
thorized this thing. We waited three days for the answer. 
No answer came. 

" In four days we reached our own home. "We found the 
inspector there. Wliile we were gone, he had corue to our peo- 
ple and told them to move. 

" Our people said : ' Where are our chiefs 1 What have you 
done with them? Why have you not "brought them back? 
We will not move till our chiefs come hack.' 

" Then the inspector told them : c To-morrow you must he 
ready to move. If you are not ready you will ho shot.' Then 
the soldiers came to the doors with their bayonets, and ten 
families were frightened. The soldiers brought wagons ; they 
put their things in and were carried away. Tho rest of the 
tribe would not move. 

" When we got there, we asked the inspector why ho had 
done this thing, and he got very angry. 

" Then we said to him : ' Wo did not think we would see 
your face again, after what has passed. We thought never to 
see your face any more. But here you are.' 

"We said to him: 'This land is ours. It belongs to us. 
You have no right to take it from us. Tho laud is crowded 
with people, and only this is left to us.' 

" We said to him : ' Let us alone. Oo away from us. If 
you want money, take all the money which the President is to 
pay us for twelve years to come. You may have it all, if you 
will go and leave us our lands.' 

" Then, when ho found that we would not go, ho wrote for 
more soldiers to come. 

" Then tho soldiers came, and wo locked our doors, and the 
women and children hid in the woods. Then tho soldiers 
drove all the people the other side of tho river, all hut my 
brother Big Snake and I. We did not go ; and tho soldiers 
took us and earned us away to a fort and put us in juiL 


There were eight officers who held council with us after we 
got there. The commanding officer said: *I have received 
four messages telling me to send my soldiers after you. Now, 
what have you done 1 ' 

" Then we told him the whole story. Then the officer said : 
* You have done no wrong. The land is yours ; they had no 
right to take it from you. Your title is good. I am here to 
protect the weak, and I have no right to take you; but I am 
a soldier, and I have to obey orders.' 

" He said : ' I will telegraph to the President, and ask him 
what I shall do. We do not think these three men had any 
authority to treat yon as they have done. When we own a 
piece of land, it belongs to us till we seU it and pocket the 

"Then he brought a telegram, and said he had received an- 
swer from the President. The President said he knew nothing 
about it. 

" They kept us in jail ten days. Then they carried us back 
to ottr home. The soldiers collected all the women and chil- 
dren together then they called all the chiefs together in coun- 
cil; and then they took wagons and went round and broke 
open the houses. When we came back from the council we 
found the women and children surrounded by a guard of sol- 

" They took our reapers, mowers, hay-rakes, spades, ploughs, 
bedsteads, stoves, cupboards, everything we had on our farms, 
and put them in one large building. Then they put into the 
wagons such things as they could carry. We told them that 
we would rather die than leave our lands ; but we could not 
help ourselves. They took us down. Many died on the road. 
Two of my children died. After we reached the new land, all 
my horses died. The water was very bad. All our cattle 
died ; not one was left. I stayed till one hundred and fifty- 
eight of my people had died. Then I ran away with thirty of 


my people, men and women and children. Some of the chil- 
dren were orphans. We were three months on the road. We 
were weak and sick and starved. When we reached the Omaha 
Eeserve the Omahas gave us a piece of land, and we were in a 
hurry to plough it and put in wheat. While we were working 
the soldiers came and arrested us. Half of us were sick. We 
would rather have died than have heen carried back ; hut we 
could not help ourselves." 

Nevertheless they were helped. The news of their arrest, 
and the intention of the Government to take them hack by 
force to Indian Territory, roused excitement in Omaha. An 
Omaha editor and two Omaha lawyers determined to test the 
question whether the Government had a legal right to do it. 
It seemed a bold thing, almost a hopeless thing, to undertake. 
It has passed into a proverb that Providence is on the side 
of the heaviest battalions : the oppressed and enslaved in all 
ages have felt this. But there are times when a simple writ of 
habeas corpus is stronger than cannon or blood-hounds ; and 
this was one of these times. Brought into the District Court 
of the United States for the District of Nebraska, those Poncas 
were set free by the judge of that court. Will not the name 
of Judge Dundy stand side by side with that of Abraham 
^Lincoln in the matter of Emancipation Acts? 

The Government attorney, the Hon. G. M. Lambortson, made 
an argument five hours long, said to have been both "ingenious 
and eloquent," to prove that an Indian was not entitled to the 
protection of the writ of habeas corpus, " not being a person 
or citizen iindor the law." 

Judge Dundy took several days to consider the case, and 
gave a decision which strikes straight to the root of the whole 
matter a decision which, when it is enforced throughout our 
land, will take tho ground out from under tho feet of the horde 
of unscrupulous thieves who have been robbing, oppressing, 
and maddening the Indians for so long, that to try to unniask 


and expose their processes, or to make clean their methods, is 
a task before which hundreds of good men nay, whole de- 
nominations of good men disheartened, baffled, and worn- 
out, have given up. 

When Standing Bear found that by the decision of Judge 
Dundy he was really a free man, and could go where he 
pleased, he made a speech which should never be forgotten or 
left out in the history of the dealings of the United States 
Government with the Indians. 

After a touching expression of gratitude to the lawyers who 
had pleaded his cause, he said : " Hitherto, when we have been 
wronged, we went to war to assert our rights and avenge our 
wrongs. We took the tomahawk. We had no law to punish 
those who did wrong, so we took our tomahawks and went to 
kill. If they had guns and could kill us first, it was the fate 
of war. But you have found a better way. You have gone 
into the court for us, and I find that our wrongs can be righted 
there. Now I have no more use for the tomahawk. I want 
to lay it down forever." 

Uttering these words with eloquent impressiveness, the old 
chief, stooping down, placed the tomahawk on the floor at his 
feet ; then, standing erect, he folded his arms with native dig- 
nity, and continued : " I lay it down. I have no more use for 
it. I have found a better way." 

Stooping again and taking up the weapon, he placed it in 
Mr. Webster's hands, and said : " I present it to you as a 
token of my gratitude. I want you to keep it in remembrance 
of this great victory which you have gained, I have no further 
use for it. I can now seek the ways of peace." 

The first use that Standing Bear made of his freedom was 
to endeavor to procure the freedom of his tribe, and establish 
their legal right to their old home in Dakota. Accompanied 
by a young and well-educated Omaha girl and her brother aa 
interpreters, and by Mr. Tibbies, the champion and friend t<r 


whom he owed his freedom, he went to the Eastern States, and 
told the story of the sufferings and wrongs of his tribe to largo 
audiences in many of the larger cities and towns. Money was 
generously subscribed everywhere for the purpose of bringing 
suits to test the question of the Poncas' legal right to the lands 
which the United States Government had by treaty ceded to 
them in specified "townships," thus giving to them the same 
sort of title which would be given to any corporation or in- 

Yery soon this movement of Standing Bear and his com- 
panions began to produce on the community a strong effect, 
shown by the interest in their public meetings, and by expres- 
sions of strong feeling in the newspapers. This attracted the 
attention of the authorities at Washington. Letters were pub- 
lished contradicting many of Standing Bear r s assertions j state- 
ments were circulated injurious to the reputation of all mem- 
bers of the party. A careful observer of the whole course of 
the Department of the Interior in this matter could not fail to 
come to the conclusion that for some mysterious, unexplained, 
and unexplainable reason the Department did not wish in 
fact, was unwilling that the Ponca tribe should be rein- 
stated on its lands. Discussions on the matter grew warm. The 
inspector who had been concerned in their removal published 
long letters reflecting equally on the veracity of Standing Bear 
and of the Secretary of the Interior. Standing Bear replied 
in a few pithy words, which were conclusive in their proving 
of the falsity of some of the inspector's statements. The Secre- 
tary, also, did not think it beneath his dignity to reply in 
successive newspaper articles to the inspector's reflections upon 
him ; but the only thing that was made clear by this means 
was that either the Secretary or the inspector, or both, said 
what was not true. 

In Boston the interest in the Ponca case reached such a 
height that a committee was appointed to represent the case in 


Washington, and to secure legislation upon it. Standing Bear 
and his party went to Washington, and, in spite of the secret 
hostility of the Interior Department, produced a powerful im- 
pression upon Congress. Senator Dawes, of Massachusetts, and 
Senator Morgan, of Alabama, both became warm advocates of 
their cause. The subject once started, case after case came up 
for investigation ; and the Congressional committees called for 
evidence in regard to several of the more striking instances of 
injustice to Indians. 

White Eagle, one of the Ponca chiefs, who had lost his wife 
and four children, and who was himself fast sinking under dis- 
ease developed by the malarial Indian Territory, canie to Wash- 
ington and gave eloquent testimony in behalf of his tribe. The 
physicians there predicted that he had not three months to live. 
A bill was introduced into Congress for restoring to the Poncas 
their old reservation in Dakota, and putting their houses, farms, 
etc., in the same good condition they were at the time of their 

The story of that removal was written out in full at the 
time by the agent who superintended it. That he should for- 
ward this report to the Department of the Interior was nat- 
ural; but that the Department of the Interior should have 
been willing to publish it to the country, to have it on the 
official record of its management of Indian affairs for the year 
1877, is strange. It will make a fitting conclusion to this 
sketch of the history of the Ponca tribe. The name of this 
agent was E. A. Howard. He calls the report " Journal of the 

"May 2Ist. Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched to 
Crayton, a distance of thirteen miles. Eoads very heavy. The 
child that died yesterday was here buried by the Indians, they 
preferring to bury it than to have it buried by the white 

"May 22d Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched to 


Neligh, a distance of about twenty-five miles. The day was 
cool, and, the road being high and comparatively good, the 
travel was made -without much inconvenience. 

" May 23d. The morning opened with light rain; but at 
eight o'clock a terrific thunder-storm occurred of two hours' 
duration, which was followed by steady rain throughout the 
day, in consequence of which we remained in camp. During 
the day a child died, and several women and children were 
reported sick, and medical attendance and medicine were pro- 
cured for them. 

"May 24$. Buried the child that died yesterday in the 
cemetery at Neligh, giving it a Christian burial. Broke camp 
at ten o'clock and marched about eight miles, crossing the Elk- 
horn Eiver about two miles below Oakdale Village. Were un- 
able to cross at Neligh, the road being about two feet under 
water and the bridges being washed away. The road was fear- 
fully bad, and much time and labor were expended in making 
the road and bridges at all passable over the Elk-horn flats, 
where the crossing was effected. 

" May 25$. Broke camp at six o'clock and marched twenty 
miles, to a point on Shell Creek. No wood at this place, and 
none to be had except what little had been picked up and 
brought in by the trains. Weather cold, damp, and dreary. 
The Indians during the day behaved well, and marched splen- 

" May 26$. The morning opened with a heavy continuous 
rain, which prevailed until ten o'clock. Broke camp at eleven 
o'clock and marched eight miles farther down Shell Creek, 
when it again commenced raining, and wo went into camp. 
The evening set in cold and rainy, and no wood to be had ex- 
cept what was purchased of a settler. 

" May 27$. The morning opened cold, with a misty rain. 
Eain ceased at half-past seven o'clock, and we broke camp at 
eight and marched eight miles farther down Shell Creek, when, 

THE P02STCAS. 209 

a heavy thunder-storm coming on, we again went into camp. 
Several of the Indians were here found to be quite sick, and 
having no physician, and none being attainable, they gave us 
much anxiety and no little trouble. The daughter of Standing 
Bear, one of the chiefs, was very low of consumption, and mov- 
ing her with any degree of comfort was almost impossible, and 
the same trouble existed in transporting all the sick. 

" May 28^. Last evening I gave orders to break camp at 
five o'clock this morning, intending, if practicable, to reach Co- 
lumbus before night ; but a heavy thunder-storm prevailed at 
that time. Broke camp at seven o'clock. Marched seven miles, 
when we came to a slough confluent to Shell Creek, which was 
only made passable after two hours of active work in cutting 
willow-brush and bringing a large quantity of wheat straw from 
a distance of thirty rods, with which we covered the road thickly. 
After crossing the slough we marched to a point on Shell Creek 
and camped, having made about fourteen miles during the day. 

" May 29^. Broke camp at seven o'clock and crossed Shell 
Creek. For about five miles the road led over a divide, and 
was quite good ; but in coming down on the flats, which ex- 
tended for five miles between the Bluffs and Columbus, we 
found the roads for the entire distance almost impassable, ow- 
ing to the many deep, miry sloughs which cross the road, and 
the generally flooded and yielding condition of the soil aside 
from the sloughs. Teams had to be frequently doubled, in 
order to get the wagons through. The difficulties were finally 
overcome, and the train marched into Columbus at two o'clock, 
and went into camp at Soap Fork, having made a march of 
about ten miles, the march of five miles across the flats occu- . 
pying about seven hours. Major Walker, who had accompanied 
us from the Niobrara Eiver to this place with twenty-five sol- 
diers, under orders from the War Department, took leave of us, 
and returned to Dakota." 

It was asserted again and again by the Secretary of the In- 



terior, and by the inspector, E. C. Kemble, that these Indians 
were not removed by force that they consented to go. 

In another part of this same report this agent says : 

"On the 15th "(six days before the "march" began) "I 
held another council, which was largely attended by the chiefs, 
headmen, and soldiers of the tribe, and which was of more than 
four hours' duration. At this council the Indians maintained 
that the Government had no right to move them from the res- 
ervation, and demanded, as an inducement or equivalent for 
them to give up the reservation and move to the Indian Terri- 
tory first, the payment to them by the Government of the 
sum of $3,000,000 \ and, second, that, before starting, I should 
show to them the sum of $40,000 which they had been told 
had been appropriated by the Government for their removal. 
To all of which I replied positively in the negative, telling 
them that I would not accede to nor consider any demands 
that they might make ; but that I would take under my con- 
sideration reasonable requests that they might submit touching 
their removal, and, as their agent, do what I could for them in 
promoting their welfare } that I demanded that they should at 
all times listen to my words j that they should go with me to 
their new home \ and that they should without delay give me 
their final answer whether they would go peaceably or by force. 
The Indians refused to give answer at this time ; the council 
closed without definite results ; and the Indians dispersed with 
a sullen look and determined expression." 

This evidently was not the " consent " of which we have 
heard. We come to it presently. 

"On the following morning, however, May 16th, they sent 
word to me, at an early hour, that they had considered my 
words, and had concluded to go with me, and that they wanted 
assistance in getting the old and infirm, together with their 
property, over the Niobrara Eiver, which was much swollen by 
the rains and at a low temperature." 


- "What a night must these helpless creatures have passed be- 
fore this " consent " was given ! Seven hundred people, more 
than half of them women and children ; a farming people, not 
armed with rifles, as the Ogallalla Sioux were, when, one year 
later, on this same ground, the Chief Spotted Tail told Com- 
missioner Hayt that, if he did not give an order to have his 
tribe on the way back to White Clay Creek in ten days, his 
young men would go on the war-path at once j and the much- 
terrified commissioner wrote the order then and there, and the 
Sioux were allowed to go where they had chosen to go. Be- 
hold the difference between the way our Government treats 
the powerful and treats the weak ! What could these Ponca 
farmers do? They must, "without delay," give their "final 
answer whether they would go peaceably or by force" What 
did "by force" mean? It was "by force" that the Govern- 
ment undertook to compel the Cheyennes to go to Indian 
Territory ; and in that Cheyenne massacre the Cheyenne men, 
women, children, and babies were all shot down together ! 

What could these Ponca farmers do? What would any 
father, brother, husband have done under the circumstances? 
He would have "consented" to go. 

The agent, as was wise, took them at their word, quickly, 
and that very day, " at five o'clock P.M., had the entire tribe, 
with their effects, across the river, off the reservation, and in 
camp in Nebraska." 

The agent should have said, " with part of their effects," for 
it was only a part, and a very small part, that this helpless 
consenting party were allowed to take with them. All their 
agricultural implements and most of their furniture were left 

" It was a hard day's work," the getting the tribe and their 
"effects" across the river, the agent says; "the river being 
about forty rods wide, and the current so swift that it was 
found impossible to move the goods across in any other way 


than by packing them on the shoulders of the men, the quick- 
sand "bottom, rendering it unsafe to trust them on the backs 
of animals; even the wagons having to be drawn across by 

Let us dwell for a moment on this picture. Seven hundred 
helpless, heart-broken people beginning their sad journey by 
having to ford this icy stream with quicksands at bottom. 
The infirm, the sick, the old, the infants, all carried "by pack- 
ing them on the shoulders of the men ! " What a scene ! The 
Honorable Secretary of the Interior said, in one of the letters 
in his newspaper controversy with the inspector in regard to 
the accounts of this removal, that " the highly-colored stories 
which are told about the brutal military force employed in 
compelling their [the Poncas'] removal from Dakota to the 
Indian Territory are sensational fabrications ; at least, the of- 
ficial record, which is very full, and goes into minute details, 
does not in the least bear them out." 

There was never any accusation brought against the "mili- 
tary force" of "brutality" in this removal The brutality 
was on the part of the Government. The simple presence 
of the " military force " was brutal, It meant but one thing. 
The Indians understood it, and the Government intended that 
they should understand it ; and when the agent of the Govern- 
ment said to these Indians that they must give him their "final 
answer whether they would go peaceably or by force/' he in- 
tended that they should understand it. Has anybody any 
doubt what were the orders under which that " military force " 
was there 1 any doubt what it would have been the military 
duty of Major Walker to have done in case the Poncas had 
refused to "consent" to go? 

And now let us return to the " Official Becord," which is, 
indeed, as the Honorable Secretary of the Interior says, "very 
full," and " goes into minute details," and let us see in how 
much it will " bear us out j " and when we have done with this 

POtfCAS. 213 

" Official Record," let us ask ourselves if any imagination could 
have invented so " highly-colored " a " story " as it tells. 

" June 2d. Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched sev 
enteen miles, going into camp near Ulysses. Eoads in bad 

"June 3d. Had some trouble in getting started. Broke 
camp at eleven o'clock and marched eight miles. Went into 
camp on Blue Eiver. Many people sick, one of whom was re- 
ported in a dying condition. Had bad roads. Rained during 

" June teh. Broke camp at six o'clock. Marched fifteen 
miles, and went into camp on Lincoln Creek, near Seward. 

" June 5th. Broke camp at seven o'clock. Marched four- 
teen miles, and went into camp near Milford. Daughter of 
Standing Bear, Ponca chief, died at two o'clock, of consump- 

" June 6th. Eemained in camp all day, for the purpose of 
obtaining supplies. Prairie Flower, wife of Shines White and 
daughter of Standing Bear, who died yesterday, was here given 
Christian burial, her remains being deposited in the cemetery at 
Milford, Nebraska, a small village on Blue River. 

" In this connection I wish to take official knowledge and 
recognition of the noble action performed by the ladies of 
Milford, in preparing and decorating the body of the deceased 
Indian woman for burial in a style becoming the highest civ- 
ilization. In this act of Christian kindness they did more to 
ameliorate the grief of the husband and father than they could 
have done by adopting the usual course of this untutored peo- 
ple and presenting to each a dozen ponies. It was here that, 
looking on the form of his dead daughter thus arrayed for the 
tomb, Standing Bear was led to forget the burial-service of his 
tribe, and say to those around him that he was desirous of 
leaving off the ways of the Indian and adopting those of the 
white men. 


"June 1th. Quite a heavy rain during the afternoon. The 
storm, most disastrous of any that occurred during the removal 
of the Poncas under my charge, canae suddenly upon us while 
in camp on the evening of this day. It was a storm such as I 
never "before experienced, and of which I am unable to give an 
adequate description. The wind blew a fearful tornado, demol- 
ishing every tent in camp, and rending many of them into 
shreds, overturning wagons, and hurling wagon-boxes, camp- 
equipages, etc., through the air in every direction like straws. 
Some of the people were taken tip by the wind and carried as 
much as three hundred yards. 'Several of the Indians were 
quite seriously hurt, and one child died the next day from in- 
juries received, and was given Christian burial. The storm 
caused a delay until the 8th for repairs, and for medical attend- 
ance upon the injured. 

"June 8th. Broke camp at Milford and marched seven 
miles. Eoads very bad. Child died during the day. 

" June $th. Put the child that died yesterday in the coffin 
and sent it back to Milford, to be buried in the same grave with 
its aunt, Prairie Flower. Broke camp at seven o'clock and 
marched to within three miles of C^ete. 

" June 10Z/L Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched one 
mile beyond De Witt, where I employed a physician to visit 
camp and prescribe for the sick. A woman had a thumb acci- 
dentally cut off, which caused further commotion in the camp. 

"June 12th. Broke camp at seven o'clock and marched to 
within two miles of Otoe Agency. Crossed Wolf Creek with 
a part of the train, the crossing being very difficult ; but the 
Indians worked splendidly." 

" The Indians worked splendidly ! " Is not this a well-nigh 
incredible record of patience and long-suffering 1 These poor 
creatures, marching from ten to twenty-five miles a day, for 
twenty-two days, through muddy sloughs, swollen rivers, in 
tempests and floods and dreary cold, leaving their wives and 


their children dead by the way dead of the sufferings of the 
march are yet docile, obedient, and "work splendidly!" 

"June I3th. After considerable time we succeeded in build- 
ing a bridge over Wolf Creek out of drift-timber, and suc- 
ceeded in crossing the balance of the train. Broke camp and 
marched three miles, and went into camp again near Otoe 

" June I4:tk. Water-bound, and had to remain in camp all 
day waiting for creek to run down. The Otoe Indians came 
out to see the Poncas, and gave them ten ponies. 

"June I5th. Still water-bound. Kemained in camp all day. 

"June 16th. Broke camp at seven o'clock and reached Ha- 
rysville, Kansas, where we went into camp. During the march 
a wagon tipped over, injuring a woman quite severely. Indians 
out of rations, and feeling hostile." 

What wonder that the Indians felt hostile ? Hunger added 
to all the rest of their direful misery ! 

"June 18th. Broke camp at. seven o'clock. Marched nine 
miles and went into camp at Elm Creek. Little Cottonwood 
died. Four families determined to return to Dakota. I was 
obliged to ride nine miles on horseback to overtake them, to 
restore harmony, and settle difficulty in camp. Had coffin 
made for dead Indian, which was brought to camp at twelve 
o'clock at night from Blue Eapids. A fearful thunder-storm 
during the night, flooding the camp-equipage." 

This is a "highly-colored" story, indeed ! The darkness ; 
the camp flooded by the driving rain ; thunder and lightning ; a 
messenger arriving at midnight with a coffin ] the four families 
of desperate fugitives setting out to flee back to their homes ! 
What "sensational fabrication " could compete with this 1 

"June 19th. The storm of last night left the roads in an 
impassable condition, and, in consequence, was obliged to re- 
main in camp all day. Buried Little Cottonwood in a ceme 
tery about five miles from camp. * * * 


" June 25th. Broke camp at six o'clock. Marched to a point 
about fifteen miles farther up Deep Creek. Two old women 
died during the day. * * * 

"June 3(Wa. Broke camp at six o'clock. Passed through 
Hartford, and camped about six miles above Burlington. A 
child of Buffalo Chief died during the day. * * * 

" July 2d. Broke camp at six o'clock. Made a long march 
of fifteen miles for Noon Camp, for reason that no water could 
be got nearer. An Indian became hostile, and made a desper- 
ate attempt to kill White Eagle, head chief of the tribe. Tor a 
time every male in camp was on the war-path, and for about 
two hours the most intense excitement prevailed, heightened by 
continued loud crying by all the women and children." 

This Indian, who is reported here as having " become hos- 
tile," no doubt, tried to kill White Eagle for having allowed 
the tribe to be brought into all this trouble. It is the general 
feeling among the less intelligent members of a tribe that their 
chiefs are bound, under all circumstances, to see that they come 
to no harm. 

" July th Broke camp at six o'clock, passing through Bax- 
ter Springs at about one o'clock. Just after passing Baxter 
Springs a terrible thunder-storm struck us. The wind blew a 
heavy gale and the rain fell in torrents, so that it was impos- 
sible to see more than four or five rods distant, thoroughly 
drenching every person and every article in the train, making 
a fitting end to a journey commenced by wading a river and 
thereafter encountering innumerable storms. 

"During the last few days of the journey the weather was 
exceedingly hot, and the teams terribly annoyed and bitten by 
green-head flies, which attacked them in great numbers. Many 
of the teams were nearly exhausted, and, had the distance been 
but little farther, they must have given out. The people were 
all nearly worn out from the fatigue of the march, and were 
heartily glad that the long, tedious journey was at an end, that 


they might take that rest so much required for the recupera- 
tion of their physical natures." Now let us see what provision 
the Government had made for that "rest" and "recuperation," 
surely " much required " and fairly earned. Not one dollar had 
been appropriated for establishing them in their new home; not 
one building had been put up. This people was set down in a 
wilderness without one provision of any kind for their shelter. 

"It is a matter of astonishment to me," says Agent Howard 
(p. 100 of this " Report "), "that the Government should have 
ordered the removal of the Ponca Indians from Dakota to the 
Indian Territory without having first made some provision for 
their settlement and comfort. Before their removal was carried 
into effect an appropriation should have been made by Con. 
gress sufficient to have located them in their new home, by 
building a comfortable home for the occupancy of every family 
of the tribe. As the case now is, no appropriation has been 
made by Congress except of a sum little more than sufficient 
to remove them; and the result is that these people have been 
placed on an uncultivated reservation, to live in their tents as 
best they may, and await further legislative action." 

This journal of Mr. Howard's is the best record that can ever 
be written of the sufferings of the Poncas in their removal 
from their homes. It is "highly colored ;" but no one, how- 
ever much it may be for his interest to do so, can call it "a 
sensational fabrication," or can discredit it in the smallest par- 
ticular, for it is an " official record," authorized and endorsed 
by being published in the "Annual Eeport" of the Secretary 
of the Interior. 

The remainder of the Ponca tribe is still in Indian Territory, 
awaiting anxiously the result of the efforts to restore to them 
their old homes, and to establish the fact of their indisputable 
legal right to them.* 

* See Appendix, Art. II., for later facts in the history of tfte Poncas, 




THE. Winnebagoes "belonged to the Dakota family, but, so 
far as can "be known, were naturally a peace-loving people, and 
had no sympathy with the more warlike tribes of their race. 
The Algonquins gave them the name of Winnebagoes, or " peo- 
ple of the salt-water;" and as the Algonquin word for salt- 
water and stinking-water was the same, the French called them 
" Les Puants," or " Stinkards." The Sioux gave them a more 
melodious and pleasing name, " 0-ton-kah," which signified 
"The large, strong people," 

Bancroft, in his account of the North American tribes, says : 
" One little community of the Dakota (Sioux) family had pen- 
etrated the territories of the Algonquins : the Winnebagoes 
dwelling between Green Bay and the lake that bears their 
name preferred to be environed by Algonquins than to stay in 
the dangerous vicinity of their own kindred." 

One of the earliest mentions that is found of this tiibe, in 
the diplomatic history of our country, is in the reports given 
of a council held in July, 1815, at "Portage des Sioux," in 
Missouri, after the treaty of Ghent. To this council the Win- 
nebagoes refused to send delegates ; and their refusal was evi- 
dently considered a matter of some moment. The commis- 
sioners " appointed to treat with the North-western Indians " 
at this time reported that they found " the Indians much di- 
vided among themselves in regard to peace with the United 
States." Some of them " spoke without disguise of their op- 
position to military establishments on the Mississippi," and 


many of them, " among whom were the Winnebagoes, utterly 
refused to send deputies to the council," This disaffection 
was thought "by the commissioners to he largely due to the 
influence of British traders, who plied the Indians with gifts, 
and assured them that war would soon break out again be- 
tween the United States and Great Britain. It is probable, 
however, that the Winnebagoes held themselves aloof from 
these negotiations more from a general distrust of white men 
than from any partisan or selfish leaning to the side of Great 
Britain; for when Dr. Jedediah Morse visited them, only seven 
years later, he wrote : " There is no other tribe which seems to 
possess so much jealousy of the whites, and such reluctance to 
have intercourse with them, as this." 

Spite of this reluctance they made, in 1816, a treaty " of 
peace and friendship with the United States, 7 ' agreeing "to 
remain distinct and separate from the rest of their nation or 
tribe, giving them no assistance whatever until peace shall be 
concluded between the United States and their tribe or nation." 
They agreed also to confirm and observe all the lines of British, 
French, or Spanish cessions of land to the United States. 

In 1825 the United States Government, unable to endure 
the spectacle of Indians warring among themselves, and massa- 
cring each other, appears in the North-western country as an 
unselfish pacificator, and compels the Sacs, Eoxes, Chippewas, 
and Sioux, including the Winnebagoes, to make a treaty of 
peace and friendship with each other and with the United 
States. The negotiations for this treaty occupied one month ; 
which does not seem a long time when one considers that the 
boundaries of all the lands to be occupied by these respective 
tribes were to be defined, and that in those days and regions 
definitions of distance were stated in such phrases as " a half 
day's march/' " a long day's march," " about a day's paddle in 
a canoe," "to a point where the woods come out into the 
meadows," " to a point on Buffalo Kiver, half way between its 


source and its mouth." These were surely precarious terms 
for peace to rest upon, especially as it was understood by all 
parties that " no tribe shall hunt within the actual limits of 
any other without their consent." 

At the close of this treaty there occurred a curious incident, 
which Schoolcraft calls " an experiment on the moral sense of 
the Indians with regard to intoxicating liquors." " It had been 
said by the tribes that the true reason for the Commissioners of 
the United States speaking against the use of ardent spirits by 
the Indians, and refusing to give it to them, was the fear of ex- 
pense, and not a sense of its bad effects. To show them that 
the Government was above such a petty motive, the commis- 
sioners had a long row of tin camp-kettles, holding several gal- 
lons each, placed on the grass ; and then, after some suitable 
remarks, each kettle was spilled out in their presence. The 
thing was ill-relished by the Indians, who loved the whiskey 
better than the joke/ 7 

At this time the lands of the Winnebagoes lay between the 
Bock and the Wisconsin rivers, along the shore of Winnebago 
Lake, and the Indians claimed that the whole lake belonged 
to them. It was here that President Morse had found them 
living in 1822. He gives the following graphic picture of their 
pleasant home : " They have five villages on the Lake, and 
fourteen on Kock Eiver. The country has abundance of 
springs, small lakes, ponds, and rivers ; a rich soil, producing 
corn and all sorts of grain. The lakes abound with fine-fla- 
vored, firm fish." Of the Indians themselves, he says : " They 
are industrious, frugal, and temperate. They cultivate corn, 
potatoes, pumpkins, squashes, and beans, and are remarkably 
provident. They numbered five hundred and eighty souls." 

In 1827 a third treaty was signed by the Winnebagoes, 
Chippewas, and Menomonies with the United States and with 
each other. This treaty completed the system of boundaries 
of their lands, which had been only partially defined by the two 


previous treaties. Of these three treaties Schoolcraft says: 
" These three conferences embody a new course and policy for 
keeping the tribes in peace, and are founded on the most en- 
larged consideration of the aboriginal right of fee-simple to 
the soil They have been held exclusively at the charge and 
expense of the United States, and contain no cession of terri- 

They were the last treaties of their kind. In 1828 the peo- 
ple of Northern Illinois were beginning to covet and trespass 
on some of the Indian lands, and commissioners were sent to 
treat with the Indians for the surrender of such lands. The 
Indians demurred, and the treaty was deferred ; the United 
States in the mean time agreeing to pay to the four tribes 
$20,000, " in full compensation for all the injuries and dam- 
ages sustained by them in consequence of the occupation of 
any part of the mining country." 

In 1829 a benevolent scheme for the rescue of these hard- 
pressed tribes of the North-western territory was proposed by 
Mr. J. D. Stevens, a missionary at Mackinaw. He suggested 
the formation of a colony of them in the Lake Superior region. 
He says and his words are as true to-day, in 1879, as they 
were fifty years ago : " The Indian is in every view entitled to 
sympathy. The misfortune of the race is that, seated on the 
skirts of the domain of a popular government, they have no 
vote to give. They are politically a nonentity. * * * The whole 
Indian race is not worth one white man's vote. If the Indian 
were raised to the right of giving his suffrage, a plenty of 
politicians on the frontiers would enter into plans to better 
him ; whereas now the subject drags along like an incubus in 

It did, indeed. Appropriations were sadly behindhand. The 
promises made to the Indians could not be fulfilled, simply 
because there was no money to fulfil them with. In 1829 a 
"Washington correspondent writes to Mr. Schoolcraft : " There 


is a screw loose in the public machinery somewhere. In 1827 
we were promised $48,000 for the Indian service, and got 
$30,000 ; in 1828 $40,000, and got $25,000." A little later 
the Secretary of War himself writes : " Our annual appropria- 
tion has not yet passed; and when it will, I am sure I cannot 

In 1830 the all-engrossing topic of Congress is said to be 
" the removal of the Indians. It occupies the public mind 
throughout the Union, and petitions and remonstrances are 
pouring in without number." 

Meantime the Indians were warring among themselves, and 
also retaliating on the white settlers who encroached upon their 
lands. The inevitable conflict had begun in earnest, and in 
September of 1832 the Winnebagoes were compelled to make 
their first great cession of territory to the United States. In 
exchange for it they accepted a tract west of the Mississippi, 
and before the 1st of June, 1833, most of those who were liv- 
ing on the ceded lands had crossed the river to their new 
homes. Their title to this new country was not so good as 
they probably supposed, for the treaty expressly stated that it 
was granted to them " to be held as other Indian lands are 

Article three of this treaty said, " As the country hereby 
ceded by the Winnebagoes is more extensive and valuable than 
that given by the United States in exchange," the United States 
would pay to the Winnebagoes $10,000 annually in specie for 
twenty-seven years. The Government also promised to put up 
buildings for them, send teachers, make various allowances for 
stock, implements, tobacco, etc., and to furnish them with a 

The Winnebagoes agreed to deliver up some of their num- 
ber who had murdered white settlors. Lands wore granted by 
patent to four Winnebagoes by name two men and two 
women j for what reason, does not appear in the treaty. 


Five years later the Winnebagoes ceded to the United States 
all their lands east of the Mississippi, and also relinquished 
the right to occupy, " except for hunting," a portion of that 
which they owned on the west side. For this cession and re- 
linquishment they were to receive $200,000 ; part of this sum 
to he expended in paying their debts, the expense of their 
removal and establishment in their new homes, and the rest 
to be invested by the United States Government for their 

In 1846 the "Winnebagoes were forced-to make another treaty, 
by which they finally ceded and sold to the United States 
" all right, title, interest, claim, and privilege to all lands here- 
tofore occupied by them ; " and accepted as'their home, " to be 
held as other Indian lands are held," a tract of 800,000 acres 
north of St. Peter's, and west of the Mississippi. For 'this third 
removal they were to be paid $190,000 $150,000 for the 
knds they gave up, and $40,000 for relinquishing the hunting 
privilege on lands adjacent to their own. Part of this was to 
be expended in removing them, and the balance was to be " left 
in trust " with the Government at five per cent, interest. 

This reservation proved unsuited to them. The tribe were 
restless and discontented; large numbers of them were con- 
tinually roaming back to their old homes in Iowa and Wiscon- 
sin, and in 1855 they gladly made another treaty with the 
Government, by which they ceded back to the United States 
all the land which the treaty of 1846 had given them, and took 
in exchange for it a tract eighteen miles square on the Elue 
Earth Eiver. The improved lands on which they had been 
living, their mills and other buildings, were to be appraised 
and sold to the highest bidder, and the amount expended in re- 
moving them, subsisting them, and making them comfortable 
in their new home. This reservation, the treaty said, should be 
their "permanent home j" and as this phrase had never before 
been used in any of their treaties, it is to be presumed that the 


Winnebagoes took heart at hearing it. They are said to have 
" settled down quietly and contentedly," and have gone to 
work immediately, "ploughing, planting, and building." 

The citizens of Minnesota did not take kindly to their new 
neighbors. " An indignation meeting was held ; a petition to 
the President signed j and movements made, the object of all 
which was to oust these Indians from their dearly-purchased 
homes," says the Report of the Indian Commissioner for 1855. 

Such movements, and such a public sentiment on the part of 
the population surrounding them, certainly did not tend to en- 
courage the Winnebagoes to industry, or to give them any very 
sanguine hopes of being long permitted to remain in their 
" permanent home." Nevertheless they worked on, doing bet- 
ter and better every year, keeping good faith with the whites 
and with the Government, and trusting in the Government's 
purpose and power to keep faith with them. The only serious 
faults with which they could be charged were drunkenness and 
gambling, and both of these they had learned of the white set- 
tlers. In the latter they had proved to be apt scholars, often 
beating professional gamblers at their own game. 

They showed the bad effects of their repeated removals, 
also, in being disposed to wander back to their old homes. 
Sometimes several hundred of them would be roaming about 
in Wisconsin. But the tribe, as a whole, were industrious, 
quiet, always peaceable and loyal, and steadily improving. 
They took hold in earnest of the hard work of farming ; some 
of them who could not get either horses or ploughs actually 
breaking up new land with hoes, and getting fair crops out of 
it. Very soon they began to entreat to have their farms set- 
tled on them individually, and guaranteed to them for their 
own ; and the Government, taking advantage of this desire on 
their part, made a treaty with them in 1859, by which part of 
their lands were to be " allotted " to individuals in " several- 
ty," as they had requested, and the rest were to be sold, the 


proceeds to be partly expended in improvements on their farms, 
and partly to be " left in trust " with the Government. This 
measure threw open hundreds of thousands of acres of land to 
white settlers, and drew the belt of greedy civilization much 
tighter around the Indians. Similar treaties to this had been 
already made with some of the Sioux tribes and with others. 
It was evident that " the surplus land occupied by the Indians 
was required for the use of the increasing white population," 
and that it was " necessary to reduce the reservations." 

There is in this treaty of 1859 one extraordinary provision: 
" In order to render unnecessary any further treaty engage- 
ments or arrangements with the United States, it is hereby 
agreed and stipulated that the President, with the assent of 
Congress, shall have full power to modify or change any of 
the provisions of former treaties with the Winnebagoes, in 
such manner and to whatever extent he may judge to be nec- 
essary and expedient for their welfare and best interest." 

It is impossible to avoid having a doubt whether the chiefs 
and headmen of the Winnebago tribe who signed this treaty 
ever heard that proviso. It is incredible that they could have 
been so simple and trustful as to have assented to it. 

Prospects now brightened for the Winnebagoes. With 
their farms given to them for their own, and a sufficient sum 
of money realized by the sale of surplus lands to enable them 
to thoroughly improve the remainder, their way seemed open 
to prosperity and comfort. They "entered upon farming 
with a zeal and energy which gave promise of a prosperous 
and creditable future." 

" Every family in the tribe has more or less ground under 
cultivation," says their agent. He reports, also, the minutes 
of a council held by the chiefs, which tell their own story : 

"When we were at Washington last winter, we asked our 
Great Father to take $300,000 out of the $1,100,000, so that 
we could commence our next spring's work We do not want 



all of the $1,100,000, only sufficient to carry on our improve- 
ments. This money we ask for -we request only as a loan; 
and when our treaty is ratified, we want it replaced. We 
want to buy cattle, horses, ploughs, and wagons; and this 
money can be replaced when our lands are sold. We hope yon 
will get this money : we want good farms and good houses. 
Many have already put on white man's clothes, and more of us 
will when our treaty is ratified. 

" Father, we do not want to mate you tired of talk, but 
hope you will make a strong paper, and urgent request of our 
Great Father in respect to our wishes." 

In 1860 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs writes: "The 
Winnebagoes continue steadily on the march of improvement. 

* * * The progress of the Winnebagoes in agricultural growths 
is particularly marked with success. There have been raised 
by individuals as high as sixty acres of wheat on a single farm. 

* * * The agent's efforts have been directed to giving to each 
Indian his own allotment of land. * * * Wigwams are be- 
coming as scarce as houses were two years ago. * * * All In- 
dians who had horses ploughed and farmed their own lands. 

* * * The Indians were promised that new and comfortable 
houses should be built for them. The treaty not yet being 
ratified, I have no funds in my hands that could be made ap- 
plicable to this purpose. * * * The greater part of the Indians 
have entreated me to carry out the meaning of the commission- 
er on his visit here, and the reasons for my not doing so do 
not seem comprehensible to them. * * * The school is in a 
flourishing condition." 

In 1861 the commissioner writes that the allotment of 
lands in severalty to the Winnebagoes has been " substantially 
accomplished ;" but that the sales of the remaining lands have 
not yet been made, owing to the unsettled condition of the 
country, and therefore the funds on which the Indians were 
depending for the improvements of their farms have not been 


paid to them. They complain bitterly that the provisions of 
the treaty of 1859 have not been fulfilled. "It has been two 
years and a half since this treaty was concluded," says the 
agent, " and the Indians have been told from one season to 
another that something would be done under it for their bene- 
fit, and as often disappointed, till the best of them begin to 
doubt whether anything will be done. * * * The Indians who 
have had their allotments made are ' clamoring for their cer- 
tificates. 1 " 

Drunkenness is becoming one of the serious vices of the 
tribe. They are surrounded on all sides by white men who 
traffic in whiskey, and who are, moreover, anxious to reduce 
the Indians to as degraded a state as possible. " There are 
some circumstances connected with the location of this tribe 
which make it more difficult to protect them from the ravages 
of liquor-selling than any other tribe. They are closely sur- 
rounded by a numerous white population, and these people 
feel very indignant because the Indians are settled in their 
midst, and are disposed to make it as uncomfortable for them 
to remain here as they can, hoping at some future time they 
may be able to cause their removal." 

The time was not far distant. In 1862 we find the Winne- 
bagoes in trouble indeed. A ferocious massacre of white set- 
tlers by the Sioux had so exasperated the citizens of Minne- 
sota, that they demanded the removal of all Indians from the 
State. The people were so excited that not an Indian could 
step outside the limits of the reservation without the risk of 
being shot at sight. The Winnebagoes had utterly refused to 
join the Sioux in their attack on the whites, and had been 
threatened by them with extermination in consequence of this 
loyalty. Thus they were equally in danger from both whites 
and Indians : their position was truly pitiable. 

In the Annual Eeport of the Interior Department for 1862 
the condition of things is thus described : " While it may be 


true that a few of the Winnebagoes were engaged in the atroc- 
ities of the Sioux, the tribe, as such, is no more justly responsi- 
ble for their acts than our Government would be for a pirate 
who happened to have been bora on our territory. Notwith- 
standing this, the exasperation of the people of Minnesota 
appears to be nearly as great toward the Winnebagoes as to- 
ward the Sioux. They demand that the Winnebagoes as well 
as the Sioux shall be removed from the limits of the State. 
The "Winnebagoes are unwilling to move. Yet the Minnesota 
people are so excited that not a Winnebago can leave his res- 
ervation without risk of being shot ; and as they have never 
received their promised implements of agriculture, and the 
game on their reservation is exhausted, and their arms have 
been taken from them, they are starving." 

Their agent writes: "These Indians have been remaining 
here in a continuous state of suspense, waiting for the Govern- 
ment to cause the stipulations of the treaty of 1859 to be car- 
ried into operation: such has been their condition for three 
years and a half, and they do not understand why it is so. * * * 
The fact that a very few of the Winnebagoes were present 
and witnessed, if they did not take part in, the massacre at the 
Lower Sioux Agency, has caused the Winnebagoes themselves 
to be universally suspected of disloyalty. * * * The hostile feel- 
ings of the white people are so intense, that I am necessitated 
to use extra efforts to keep the Indians upon their own lands. 
I have been notified by the whites that the Indians will be 
massacred if they go out of their own country ; and it is but a 
few days since an Indian was killed while crossing the Missis- 
sippi River, for no other reason than that he was an Indian, 
and such is the state of public opinion that the murderer goes 

As to the loyalty of the tribe, the agent says : " There is no 
tribe of Indians more so." There is " no doubt of their loyal- 
ty as a tribe. * * * In consequence of a threat made by the 


Sioux, immediately upon their outbreak, that they (the Sioux) 
would exterminate the Winnebagoes unless they joined them 
in a raid against the white people, the Winnebagoes have lived 
in fear of an attack from the Sioux, and have almost daily 
implored me for protection. * * * To further assure them, I 
requested of the Governor of the State that two companies of 
United States infantry be stationed here in their midst, which 
has allayed their fears. * * * Notwithstanding the nearness of 
the belligerent Sioux, and the unfriendly feelings of the white 
people, and other unfortunate circumstances, I am confident 
that my Indians will remain loyal to the last. * * * They have 
been informed that, notwithstanding their fidelity to the Gov- 
ernment and the people, the people of this State are memorial- 
izing Congress to remove them out of the State which, they 
consider very unjust under the circumstances, for they have 
become attached to this location and would not leave it will- 
ingly, and think their fidelity ought to entitle them to respect 
and kind treatment" 

The "popular demand" of the people of Minnesota tri- 
umphed. In February, 1863, Congress passed an act author- 
izing the " peaceful and quiet removal of the Winnebago Indi- 
ans from the State of Minnesota, and the settling of them on a 
new reserve." It was determined to locate them " on the Mis- 
souri River somewhere within a hundred miles of Fort Randall, 
where it is not doubted they will be secure from any danger 
of intrusion from whites." All their guns, rifles, and pistols 
were to be taken from them, " securely boxed up," labelled 
" with the names of their respective owners." The Department 
impressed it on the agent in charge of the removal that it was 
" absolutely necessary that no time should be lost in the em- 
igrating of these Indians." The hostile Sioux were to be 
removed at the same time, and to a reservation adjoining the 
reservation of the Winnebagoes. The reports of the Indian 
Bureau for 1863 tell the story of this removal.* 
* See Appendix, Art VI. 


The commissioner says : " The case of the Winnebagoes is 
one of peculiar hardship. I am still of the opinion that this 
tribe was in no manner implicated in or responsible for the 
cruel and wanton outbreak on the part of the Sioux ; but its 
consequences to the tribe have been as disastrous as unmerited. 
In obedience to the Act of Congress, and the popular demand 
of the people of Minnesota, they have been removed to a new 
location upon the Missouri River, adjoining that selected for 
the Sioux. Contrasting the happy homes, and the abundant 
supply for all their wants which they have left behind them, 
with the extreme desolation which prevails throughout the 
country, including their present location, and their almost de- 
fenceless state, as. against the hostile savages in their vicinity, 
their present condition is truly pitiable ; and it is not surpris- 
ing that they have become to some extent discouraged, and are 
dissatisfied with their new homes. It cannot be disguised that 
their removal, although nominally peaceable and with their 
consent, was the result of the overwhelming pressure of the 
public sentiment of the community in which they resided ; and 
it is to be feared that it will be many years before their con- 
fidence in the good faith of our Government, in its professed 
desire to ameliorate and improve their condition, will be re- 
stored. Their misfortunes and good conduct deserve our 

The Act of Congress above mentioned provides for the 
peaceable removal of the Indians. In its execution some of 
the members of the tribe were found unwilling to leave their 
homes ; and as there was neither the disposition nor the power 
to compel them to accompany their brethren, they remained 
upon their old reservation. The most of them are represent- 
ed as having entirely abandoned the Indian habits and cus- 
toms, and as being fully qualified by good conduct and oth- 
erwise for civilized life. Many of them are enlisted in the 
military service, and all are desirous of retaining possession 


of the hqmes allotted to them under the provisions of their 

" The trust lands belonging to the tribe have been placed in 
the market, and from the amount already sold has been realized 
$82,537 62. An appraisement has also been had of the lands 
of the diminished reserve, and the same will soon be placed in 
the market." 

In the Report of the Superintendent of the North-west Ter- 
ritory for the same year is the following summing up of their 
case : " The case of these Winnebago Indians is one of peculiar 
hardship. Hurried from their comfortable homes in Minnesota, 
in 1863, almost without previous notice, huddled together on 
steamboats with poor accommodations, and transported to 
the Crow Creek Agency in Dakota Territory at an expense to 
themselves of more than $50,000, they were left, after a very 
imperfect and hasty preparation of their new agency for their 
reception, upon a sandy beach on the west bank of the Mis- 
souri River, in a country remarkable only for the rigors of its 
winter climate and the sterility of its soil, to subsist them- 
selves where the most industrious and frugal white man would 
fail, five years out of six, to raise enough grain upon which to 
subsist a family. The stern alternative was presented to this 
unfortunate people, thus deprived of comfortable homes (on 
account of no crime or misdemeanor of their own), of abandon- 
ing this agency, or encountering death from cold or starvation. 
They wisely chose the former; and after encountering hard- 
ships and sufferings too terrible to relate, and the loss of sev- 
eral hundred of their tribe by starvation and freezing, they 
arrived at their present place of residence [the Omaha Agen- 
cy] in a condition which excited the active sympathy of all 
who became acquainted with the story of their wrongs. There 
they have remained, trusting that the Government would re- 
deem its solemn promise to place them in a position west of 
the Missouri which should be as comfortable as the one which 
they occupied in Minnesota. 


" This tribe is characterized by frugality, thrift, and industry 
to an extent unequalled by any other tribe of Indians in the 
North-west. Loyal to the Government, and peaceable toward 
their neighbors, they are entitled to the fostering care of the 
General Government. The improvement of the homes which 
they have voluntarily selected for their future residence will 
place them in a short time beyond the reach of want, and take 
from the Government the burden of supplying their wants at 
an actual expense of $100,000." 

It was in May, 1863, that the Winnebagoes gathered at Fort 
Snelling, ready for their journey. The chiefs are said to have 
" acquiesced in the move as a matter of necessity, for the pro- 
tection of their people," but some of them "actually shed 
tears on taking leave," Colonel Mix, who was in charge of 
this removal, wrote to Washington, urgently entreating that 
tents at least might be provided for them on their arrival at 
their new homes in the wilderness. He also suggests that it is 
a question whether they ought to be settled so near the hostile 
Sioux, especially as just before leaving Minnesota some of the 
tribe had " scalped three Sioux Indians, thinking it would pro- 
pitiate them in the kind regards of their Great Father at Wash- 
ington, and, as a consequence, they would perhaps be permitted 
to remain in Minnesota." 

The removal was accomplished in May and Juno. There 
were, all told, 1945 of the Winnebagoes. They arrived to find 
themselves in an almost barren wilderness a dry, hard soil, 
" too strong for ploughs ;" so much so, that it was " difficult to 
get a plough to run a whole day without breaking." A drought 
had parched the grass, so that in many places where the previ- 
ous year several tons of good hay to an acre had been raised 
there was not now " pasturage for a horse." The cottonwool 
timber, all which could be procured, was " crooked, difficult to 
handle, full of wind-shakes, rots, etc." The channel of the Mis- 
souri River here was so " changeable," and the banks so low, 


that it was " dangerous to get too near." They were obliged 
therefore to settle half a mile away from the river. No won- 
der that on July 1st the Winnebagoes are reported as "not 
pleased with their location, and anxious to return to Minnesota, 
or to some other place among the whites." They gathered to- 
gether in council, and requested Superintendent Thompson to 
write to their Great Father for permission " to move among 
the whites again. * * * They have lived so long among the 
whites that they are more afraid of wild Indians than the 
whites are." The superintendent hopes, however, they will be 
more contented as soon as he can get them comfortable build- 
ings. But on July 16th we find Brigadier-general Sulley, com- 
mander of the North-western expedition against Indians, writ- 
ing to the Department in behalf of these unfortunate creatures. 
General Sulley having been detained in camp near Crow Creek 
on account of the low water, the chiefs had gone to him with 
their tale of misery. "They stated that nothing would grow 
here. They dare not go out to hunt for fear of other tribes, 
and they would all starve to death. This I believe to be true, 
without the Government intends to ration them all the time. 
The land is sandy, dry, and parched up. * * * The land is poor ; 
a low, sandy soil. I don't think you can depend on a crop of 
corn even once in five years, as it seldom rains here in the sum- 
mer. * * * I find them hard at work making canoes, with the 
intention of quitting the agency and going to join the Omahas 
or some other tribe down the river. They said they had been 
promised to be settled on the Big Sioux Eiver. * * * I told 
them they must stay here till they get permission from "Wash- 
ington to move ; that, if they attempted it, they would be fired 
on by my troops stationed down the river." 

This is a graphic picture of the condition of a band of two 
thousand human beings, for whose "benefit" $82,537 62 had 
just been realized from sale of their lands by the Govern- 
ment, to say nothing of the property they owned in lands yet 



unsold, and in annuity provisions of previous treaties to the 
amount of over $1,000,000 capital I Is not their long suffer- 
ing, their patience, well-nigh incredible ? 

Spite of the dread of being fired on by the United States 
troops, they continued to make canoes and escape in them from 
this " new home " in the desert, and in October the Depart- 
ment of the Interior began to receive letters containing para- 
graphs like this : "I have also to report that small detachments 
of Winnebagoes are constantly arriving in canoes, locating on 
our reserve, and begging for food to keep them from starv- 
ing." Agent for Omaha Agency. 

These are the men who only one year before had been liv- 
ing in comfortable homes, with several hundred acres of good 
ground under cultivation, and " clamoring for certificates " of 
their " allotted " farms now shelterless, worse than homeless, 
escaping by canoe-loads, under fire of United States soldiers, 
from a barren desert, and "clamoring" for food at Indian 
agencies ! 

The Department of the Interior promptly reports to the Su- 
perintendent of Indian Affairs in Minnesota this " information," 
and calls it " astounding." The Department had " presumed 
that Agent Balcombe would adopt such measures as would in- 
duce the Winnebagoes to remain upon their reservation," and 
had " understood that ample arrangements had been made for 
their subsistence." It, however, ordered the Omaha agent to 
feed the starving refugees till spring, and it sent word to those 
still remaining on the reservation that they must not "under- 
take to remove without the consent of their Great Father, as it 
is his determination that a home that shall be healthy, pleasant, 
and fertile, shall be furnished to them at the earliest practicable 

This was in the autumn of 1863. In one year no less than 
1222 of the destitute Winnebagoes had escaped and made 
their way to the Omaha Reservation in Nebraska. Here the 


Superintendent of the Northern Superintendency held a coun- 
cil with them. 

" They expressed," he says, " a strong desire to have some 
arrangement made by which they would be allowed to occupy 
a portion of that reservation. It was represented that the 
Omahas wished it also. * * * I found that I could not gain 
their consent to go back to their reservation, and I had no 
means within my reach of forcing them back, even if I had 
deemed it proper to do so." The superintendent recommended, 
therefore, that they be subsisted where they were " until some 
arrangement be made for their satisfaction, or some concert of 
action agreed upon between the War Department and the In- 
terior Department by which they can be kept on their reser- 
vation after they shall have been moved there." 

In September of this same year the agent for the Winne- 
bago Keserve wrote that the absence of a protecting force had 
been one of the reasons of the Indians leaving in such num- 
bers. " Both the Winnebagoes and Sioux who have stayed here 
have lived in fear and trembling close to the stockade, and have 
refused to separate and live upon separate tracts of land." 

He gives some further details as to the soil and climate. 
" The region has been subject, as a general rule, to droughts, 
and the destructive visits of grasshoppers and other insects. 
The soil has a great quantity of alkali in it ; it is an excessive- 
ly dry climate ; it very seldom rains, and dews are almost un- 
known here : almost destitute of timber. * * * It is generally 
supposed that game is plenty about here. This is an errone- 
ous impression. There are but a very few small streams, an 
entire absence of lakes, and an almost entire destitution of tim- 
ber the whole country being one wilderness of dry prairie for 
hundreds of miles around ; hence there is but a very h'ttle 
small 'game, fish, or wild fruit to be found. In former times 
. the buffalo roamed over this country, but they have receded, 
and very seldom come here in any numbers. * * * The Indiana 


must have horses to hunt them : horses they have not. The 
Winnebagoes had some when they first arrived, but they \vere 
soon stolen by the hostile Sioux." 

Agent Balcombe must have led a hard life on this reserva- 
tion. Exposed to all the inconveniences of a remote frontier, 
three hundred miles from any food-raising country ; receiving 
betters from the Interior Department expressing itself " astound- 
ed " that he does not " induce the Indians in his charge to re- 
main on their reservation ;" and letters from citizens, and peti- 
tions from towns in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebras- 
ka, imploring him to " gather up " all the wandering Winne- 
bagoes who have been left behind ; unprovided with any proper 
military protection, and surrounded by hostile Indians no 
wonder that he recommends to the Government " to remove 
and consolidate " the different tribes of Indians into " one ter- 
ritory " as soon as possible. 

The effects of this sojourn in the wilderness upon the Win- 
nebagoes were terrible. Not only were they rendered spiritless 
and desperate by sufferings, they were demoralized by being 
brought again into conflict with the wild Sioux. They had 
more than one skirmish with them, and, it is said, relapsed so 
far into the old methods of their barbaric life that at one of 
their dances they actually roasted and ate the heart of a Sioux 
prisoner ! Yet in less than a year^ after they were gathered to- 
gether once more on the Omaha Reservation, and began again 
to have hopes of a " permanent home," we find their chiefs and 
headmen sending the following petition to Washington : 

From the chiefs, braves, and headmen of your dutiful children 
the Winnebagoes. 

" Father, we cannot see you. You are far away from us. 
We cannot speak to you. We will write to you ; and, Father, 
we hope you will read our letter and answer us. 


" Father : Some years ago, when we had our homes on 
Turkey River, we had a school for our children, where many of 
them learned to read and write and work like white people, and 
we were happy. 

"Father: Many years have passed away since our school 
was broken up ; we have no such schools among us, and our 
children are growing up in ignorance of those things that 
should render them industrious, prosperous, and happy, and 
we are sorry. Father : It is our earnest wish to be so situated 
no longer. It is our sincere desire to have again established 
among us such a school as we see in operation among your 
Omaha children. Father : As soon as you find a permanent 
home for us, will you not do this for us ? And, Father, as we 
would like our children taught the Christian religion, as before, 
we would like our school placed under the care of the Presby- 
terian Board of Foreign Missions. And last, Father, to show 
you our sincerity, we desire to have set apart for its establish- 
ment, erection, and support, all of our school-funds and what- 
ever more is necessary. 

" Father : This is our prayer. Will not you open your ears 
and heart to us, and write to us?" 

This letter was signed by thirty-eight of the chiefs and head- 
men of the Winnebagoes. 

In March, 1865, a new treaty was made between the Unit- 
ed States and this long-suffering tribe of Indians, by which, in 
consideration of their " ceding, selling, and conveying " to the 
United States all their right in the Dakota Reserve, the United 
States agreed " to set apart for the occupation and future home 
of the Winnebago Indians forever" a certain tract of 128,000 
acres in Nebraska a part of the Omaha Reservation which the 
Omahas were willing to sell. The United States also agreed to 
erect mills, break land, furnish certain amounts of seeds, tools, 
guns, and horses, oxen and wagons, and to subsist the tribe for 


one year, as some small reparation for the terrible losses and 
sufferings they had experienced. From this word " forever " 
the Winnebagoes perhaps toot courage. 

At the time of their removal from Minnesota, among the 
fugitives -who fled back to "Wisconsin was the chief De Carry. 
He died there, two years later, in great poverty. He was very 
old, but remarkably intelligent ; he was the grandson of Ho* 
po-ko-e-kaw, or " Glory of the Morning," who was the queen 
of the Winnebagoes in 1776, when Captain Carver visited 
the tribe. There is nothing in Carver's quaint and fascinating 
old story more interesting than his account of the Winnebaga 
country. He stayed with them four days, and was entertain- 
ed by them " in a very distinguished manner." Indeed, if we 
may depend upon Captain Carver's story, all the North-western 
tribes were, in their own country, a gracious and hospitable 
people. He says : " I received from every tribe of them the 
most hospitable and courteous treatment, and am -convinced 
that, till they are contaminated by the example and spirituous 
liquors of their more refined neighbors, they will retain this 
friendly and inoffensive conduct toward strangers." 

He speaks with great gusto of the bread that the Winne- 
bago women made from the wild maize. The soft young 
kernels, while full of milk, are kneaded into a paste, the cakes 
wrapped in bass-wood leaves, and baked in the ashes. " Better 
flavored bread I never ate in any country," says the honest 

He found the Winnebagoes' home truly delightful. The 
shores of the lake were wooded with hickory, oak, and hazel. 
Grapes, plums, and other fruits grew in abundance. The lake 
abounded in fish; and in the fall of the year with geese, ducks, 
and teal, the latter much better flavored than those found near- 
er the sea, as they " acquire their excessive fatness by feeding 
on the wild rice which grows so plentifully in these parts." 

How can we bear to contrast the picture of this peace, 


plenty, and gracious hospitality among the ancient Winneba- 
goes with the picture of their descendants only two gener- 
ations later hunted, driven, starved ? And how can we bear 
to contrast the picture of the drunken, gambling Winnebago 
of Minnesota with this picture which Captain Carver gives of 
a young Winnebago chief with whom he journeyed for a few 

Captain Carver, after a four days' visit with the Winneba- 
goes, and " having made some presents to the good old queen, 
and received her blessing," went on his way. Two months 
later, as he was travelling to the Falls of St. Anthony, he en- 
countered a young Winnebago chief going on an embassy to 
some of the bands of the " Nadouwessies" (Sioux). This young 
chief, finding that Captain Carver was about to visit the Falls, 
agreed to accompany him, " his curiosity having been often ex- 
cited by the accounts he had received from some of his chiefs. 
He accordingly left his family (for the Indians never travel with- 
out their households) at this place under charge of my Mohawk 
servant, and we proceeded together by land, attended only by 
my Frenchman, to this celebrated place. We could distinctly 
hear the noise of the water full fifty miles before we reached 
the Falls ; and I was greatly pleased and surprised when I ap- 
proached this astonishing work of nature ; but I was not long 
at liberty to indulge these emotions, my attention being called 
off by the behavior of my companion. The prince had no 
sooner gained the point that overlooks this wonderful cascade 
than he began with an audible voice to address the Great Spir- 
it, one of whose places of residence he imagined this to be. 
He told him that he had come a long way to pay his adora- 
tions to him, and now would make him the best offerings in 
his power. He accordingly threw his pipe into the stream; 
then the roll that contained his tobacco ; after these the brace- 
lets he wore on his arms and wrists ; next an ornament that en- 
circled his neck, composed of beads and wires ; and at last the 


ear-rings from his ears ; in short, he presented to his god every 
part of his dress that was valuable. Daring this he frequently 
smote his breast with great violence, threw his arms about, and 
appeared to be much agitated. All this while he continued 
his adorations, and at length concluded them with fervent pe- 
titions that the Great Spirit would constantly afford us his pro- 
tection on our travels, giving us a bright sun, a blue sky, and 
clear, untroubled waters ; nor would he leave the place till we 
had smoked together with my pipe in honor of the Great 

" I was greatly surprised at beholding an instance of such 
elevated devotion in so young an Indian. * * * Indeed, the whole 
conduct of this young prince at once charmed and amazed me. 
During the few days we were together his attention seemed to 
be totally employed in yielding me every assistance in his 
power, and even in so short a time he gave me innumerable 
proofs of the most generous and disinterested friendship, so 
that on our return I parted from him with the greatest re- 

In 1866 the report from the Winnebagoes is that they are 
" improving ;" manifest " a good degree of industry ;" that the 
health of the tribe is generally poor, but " as good as can be 
expected when we remember their exposures and sufferings 
during the last three years." The tribe has " diminished some 
four or five hundred since they left Minnesota." One hun- 
dred soldiers have returned, " who have served with credit to 
themselves and to their tribe in the defence of their country." 
No school has yet been established on the agency, and this is 
said to be " their greatest want." 

The superintendent writes : " The appropriations under the 
late treaty have all been made, and the work of fitting up the 
reservation is progressing. It affords me the highest personal 
satisfaction to assure the Department that this deeply-wronged 
and much-abused tribe will soon be in all respects comfortable 


and self-sustaining. They entered upon their new reservation 
late last May, and during the present year they have raised at 
least twenty thousand bushels of corn." 

In 1867 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs says: "The 
Winnebagoes have a just claim against the Government on ac- 
count of their removal from Minnesota, the expenses of which 
were borne out of their own tribal funds. The -Government is 
clearly bound in all honor to refund to them moneys thus 

It would seem that there could have been no question in the 
beginning as to who should pay the costs of such a removal as 
that. It should not even have been a tax on the general Gov- 
ernment, but on the State of Minnesota, which demanded it 
especially as there was no shadow of doubt that the demand 
was made not because the citizens of Minnesota had any real 
fear of the peaceable and kindly Winnebagoes (who were as 
much in terror of the Sioux as they were themselves), but be- 
cause they "coveted the splendid country the Winnebagoes 
were occupying, and the Sioux difficulties furnished the pretext 
to get rid of them with the aid of Congressional legislation." 

Some members of the tribe who remained in Minnesota 
still claimed their " allotted " lands ; " their share of all moneys 
payable to the Winnebagoes under treaty stipulations, and that 
their share of the funds of the tribe be capitalized and paid to 
them in bulk ; their peculiar relations as Indians be dissolved, 
and they left to merge themselves in the community where 
they have cast their lot." The commissioner urges upon the 
Government compliance with these requests. 

In 1868 a school was opened on the Winnebago Agency, 
and had a daily attendance of one hundred and fifty scholars. 
The tribe adopted a code of laws for their government, and 
the year was one of peace and quietness, with the exception 
of some dissatisfaction on the part of the Indians in regard to 
three hundred cows, which, having been sent to the agency in 


fulfilment of one of the provisions of the treaty, were neverthe- 
less ordered by the Indian Bureau to be "kept as Department 
stock." The Indians very naturally held that they had a right 
to these cows ; nevertheless, they continued peaceable and con- 
tented, in the feeling that they had " at last found a home," 
where they might " hope to remain and cultivate the soil with 
the feeling that it is theirs, and that their children will not in 
a few days be driven from their well -tilled and productive 
lands." They are, however, " growing exceedingly anxious for 
the allotment of their lands in severalty." 

In 1869 "preparations" were "being made for allotting the 
lands to heads of families." 

In 1870 " the allotment of land in severalty to the Indians has 
been nearly completed, each head of a family receiving eighty 
acres. * * * The Indians anxiously look for the patents to these, 
as many have already commenced making improvements. * * * 
At least thirty have broken four acres of prairie apiece, and 
several have built houses. * * * Three schools are in operation, 
and four hundred acres of ground under cultivation." 

In this year comes also an interesting report fronf the stray 
"Winnebagoes left behind in "Wisconsin. They and the stray 
Pottawottomies who are in the same neighborhood are " re- 
markably quiet and inoffensive, giving no cause of complaint ; 
on the contrary, the towns and villages where they trade their 
berries, maple-sugar, etc., are deriving considerable benefit from 
them : a number have been employed in lumbering, harvesting, 
and hop -picking. A number of mill- owners and lumbermen 
have informed me that the Indians they have employed in their 
business have been steady, good hands. * * * There are near- 
ly one thousand of these Winnebagoes. Some of them have 
bought land; others are renting it; and all express an anxiety 
that the 'Great Father' should give them a reservation in this 
region, and allow them to remain." 

In 1871 the Nebraska Winnebagoes deposed their old chiefs, 


and elected twelve new ones, to serve one year; these were 
mainly from the younger members of the tribe who were in 
favor of civilization and progress. This was an important step 
toward breaking up the old style of tribal relations. 

In 1872 we hear again from the " strays " in Wisconsin. The 
whites having complained of them, Congress has appropriated 
funds to move them to their respective tribes " west of the Mis- 
sissippi ;" but the removal has not been undertaken " for various 
reasons," and the commissioner doubts " whether it can be ac- 
complished without additional and severe legislation on the 
part of Congress, as the Indians are attached to the country, 
and express great repugnance to their contemplated removal 
from it." 

The poor creatures are not wanted anywhere. Spite of 
their being " steady, good hands " for hired labor, and useful 
to towns and villages in furnishing fruits and fish, the Wisconsin 
people do not want them in their State. And the agent of the 
Winnebago Reservation writes, earnestly protesting against their 
being brought there. He thinks they are in moral tone far 
below the Indians under his charge. Moreover, he says " the 
prejudice in the surrounding country is such" that he believes 
it would be bad policy to remove any "more Indians" there. 
Nebraska does not like Indians any better than Wisconsin does, 
or Minnesota did. He adds also that his Indians " would be 
greatly stimulated to improve their claims if they could secure 
the titles for them. They have waited three years since the 
first allotments were made. It is difficult to make them be- 
lieve that it requires so long a time to prepare the patents, and 
they are beginning to fear that they are not coming." 

In 18*73 the Winnebagoes are cited as a " striking example 
of what can be accomplished in a comparatively short time in 
the way of civilizing and Christianizing Indians. * * * Their 
beautiful tract of country is dotted over with substantially- 
built cottages ; the farmers own their wagons, horses, harness, 


furniture of their houses dress in civilized costume, raise 
Cr0 ps and several hundred Winnebago men assisted the farm- 
ers in adjoining counties during the late harvest in gathering 
their grain crop, and proved themselves efficient and satisfac- 
tory workmen." 

In the winter of 1874 the Wisconsin "strays" were moved 
down to the Nebraska Reservation. They were discontented, 
fomented dissatisfaction in the tribe, and in less than a year 
more than half of them had wandered back to Wisconsin 
again; a striking instance of the differences in the Govern- 
ment's methods of handling different bands of Indians. The 
thirty Poncas who ran away from Indian Territory were pur- 
sued and arrested, as if they had been thieves escaping with 
stolen property ; but more than five hundred Winnebagoes, in 
less than one year, stroll away from their reserve, make their 
way back to Wisconsin, and nothing is done about it. 

In 1875 there are only two hundred and four of the Wiscon- 
sin " strays " left on the Nebraska Reservation. All the others 
are " back in their old haunts, where a few seem to be making 
a sincere effort to take care of themselves by taking land under 
the Homestead Act" 

The Nebraska Winnebagoes are reported as being " nearly 
civilized ;" all are engaged in civilized pursuits, " the men work- 
ing with their own hands, and digging out of the ground three- 
fourths of their subsistence." They have raised in this year 
20,000 bushels of corn, 5800 bushels of wheat, and 6000 bush- 
els of oats and vegetables. They have broken 800 acres of 
new land, and have built 3000 rods of fencing. Nearly one- 
sixth of the entire tribe is in attendance at schools. The sys- 
tem of electing chiefs annually works well ; the chiefs, in their 
turn, select twelve Indians to serve for the year as policemen, 
and they prove efficient in maintaining order. 

What an advance in six years ! Six years ago there were but 
twenty-three homes and only 300 acres of land under cultiva- 


tion on the whole reservation; the people were huddled to- 
gether in ravines and bottom-lands, and were dying of disease 
and exposure. 

In 1876 the Winnebagoes are reported again as "fast emerg- 
ing from a condition of dependence upon their annual appro- 
priations. * * * Each head of a family has a patent for eighty 
acres of land. Many have fine farms, and are wholly support 
ing themselves and families by their own industry. * * * The 
issue of rations has been discontinued, except to the Wisconsin 
branch of the tribe and to the sick-list." 

In what does this report differ from the report which would 
be rendered from any small farming village in the United 
States? The large majority "wholly supporting themselves 
and their families by their own industry ;" a small minority of 
worthless or disabled people being fed by charity i. e., being 
fed on food bought, at least in part, by interest money due on 
capital made by sales of land in which they had a certain reck- 
onable share of ownership. Every one of the United States has 
in nearly every county an almshouse, in which just such a class 
of worthless and disabled persons will be found; and so crowded 
are these almshouses, and so appreciable a burden is their sup- 
port on the tax-payers of State and county, that there are per- 
petual disputes going on between the authorities of neighbor- 
ing districts as to the ownership and responsibility of individ- 
ual paupers: for the paupers in civilized almshouses are never 
persons who have had proceeds of land sales " invested " for 
their benefit, the interest to be paid to them " annually for- 
ever." It is for nobody's interest to keep them paupers, or to 
take care of them as sucb. 

We now find the Winnebagoes once more quietly established 
in comfortable homes as they were, in their own primitive 
fashion, in 1822, when Dr. Morse visited them on the shores 
of their beautiful lake ; as they were, after our civilized fash- 
ion, in 1862, on the healthful and fertile up-lands of Minne- 


sota. In their present home they seem to have reason, at last, 
to feel secure, to anticipate permanence, safety, and success. 
Their lands have been allotted to them in severalty : each head 
of a family has his patent for eighty acres. They are, in the 
main, self-supporting. 

How does the United States Government welcome this suc- 
cess, this heroic triumph of a patient people over disheartening 
obstacles and sufferings? 

In the Annual Eeport of the Secretary of the Interior for 
1876 the Secretary says: "As a matter of economy, the great- 
est saving could be made by uniting all the Indians upon a few 
reservations ; the fewer, the better." He says that there is land 
enough in the Indian Territory to give every Indian man, 
woman, and child in the country seventy-five acres apiece. He 
says, "The arguments are all in favor of the consolidation." 
He then goes on to enumerate those arguments : " Expensive 
agencies would be abolished; the Indians themselves can be 
more easily watched over and controlled ; evil-designing men 
be the better kept away from them, and illicit trade and barter 
in arms and ammunition and whiskey prevented. Goods could 
he supplied at a greater saving ; the military service relieved ; 
the Indians better taught, and friendly rivalry established among 
them those most civilized hastening the progress of those be- 
low them ; and most of the land now occupied as reserves re- 
verting to the General Government, would be open to entry and 

Here are nine reasons given for removing all Indians to In- 
dian Territory. Five of these reasons ostensibly point to bene- 
fits likely to accrue from this removal to the Indians. The 
other four point to benefits likely to accrue to the Govern- 
ment ; the first three of these last are, simply, " saving ;" the 
fourth is the significant one, "gain" "most of the land re- 
verting to the General Government would be open to entry and 


It was before this necessity of opening Indian lands " to en- 
try and sale" that the Winnebagoes had been fleeing, from 
1815 to 1863. It seems they are no safer now. There is evi- 
dently as much reason for moving them out of Nebraska as 
there was for moving them out of Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

The Secretary goes on to say: "As soon as the Indian is 
taught to toil for his daily bread, and realize the sense of pro- 
prietorship in the results of his labor, it cannot but be further 
to his advantage to be able to appreciate that his labor is ex- 
pended upon his individual possessions and for his personal 
benefit. * * * The Indian must be made to see the practical ad- 
vantage to himself of his work, and feel that he reaps the full 
benefit of it. Everything should teach him that he has a home ; 
* * * a hearth-stone of his own, around which he can gather his 
family, and in its possession be entirely secure and independent." 

The logical relation of these paragraphs to the preceding one 
is striking, and the bearing of the two together on the case of 
the Winnebagoes is still more striking. 

In the same report the Commissioner for Indian Affairs 
says : "If legislation were secured giving the President author- 
ity to remove any tribe or band, or any portion of a tribe or 
band, whenever in his judgment it was practicable, to any one 
of the reservations named, and if Congress would appropriate 
from year to year a sum sufficient to enable him to take advan- 
tage of every favorable opportunity to make such removals, I 
am confident that a few years' trial would conclusively demon- 
strate the entire feasibility of the plan. I believe that all the 
Indians in Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota, and a part at least 
of those in Wyoming and Montana, could be induced to re* 
move to the Indian Territory." 

He adds " that the Indian sentiment is opposed to such re- 
moval is true," but he thinks that, " with a fair degree of per- 
sistence,'' the removal " can be secured." No doubt it can. 

Later in the same report, under the head of " Allotments in 


Severally," he says : " It is doubtful whether any high degree 
of civilization is possible without individual ownership of land. 
The records of the past, and the experience of the present, tes- 
tify that the soil should be made secure to the individual by 
all the guarantees which law can devise, and that nothing less 
will induce men to put forth their best exertions. It is essen- 
tial that each individual should feel that his home is his own ; 
* * * that he has a direct personal interest in the soil on which 
he lives, and that that interest will be faithfully protected for 
him and for his children by the Government." 

The commissioner and the secretary who wrote these clear 
statements of evident truths, and these eloquent pleas for the 
Indians' rights, both knew perfectly well that hundreds of In- 
dians had had lands " allotted to them " in precisely this way, 
and had gone to work on the lands so allotted, trusting " that 
that interest would be faithfully protected by the G-overn- 
ment;" and that these "allotments," and the "certificates" of 
them, had proved to be good for nothing as soon as the citizens 
of a State united in a "demand" that the Indians should be 
moved. The commissioner and the secretary knew perfectly 
well, at the time they wrote these paragraphs, that in this one 
Winnebago tribe in Nebraska, for instance, " every head of a 
family owned eighty acres of land," and was hard at work on 
it industrious, self-supporting, trying to establish that " hearth- 
stone " around which, as the secretary says, he must " gather 
his family, and in its possession be entirely secure and inde- 
pendent." And yet the secretary and the commissioner advise 
the moving of this Winnebago tribe to Indian Territory with 
the rest : " all the Indians in Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota " 
could probably be " induced to move," they say. 

These quotations from this report of the Interior Department 
are but a fair specimen of the velvet glove of high-sounding 
phrase of philanthropic and humane care for the Indian, by 
which has been most effectually hid from the sight of the 


American people the iron hand of injustice and cruelty which 
has held him for a hundred years helpless in its grasp. 

In this same year an agent on one of the Nehraska agencies 
writes feelingly and sensibly : 

" Nothing has tended to retard the progress of this tribe in 
the line of opening farms for themselves so much as the unset- 
tlement occasioned by a continued agitation of the subject of 
selling their reservation and the removal of the tribe. * * * The 
improvement that has been made at this agency during the 
past three years in the direction of developing among the In- 
dians the means of self-support, seems to have caused an unea- 
siness that has been prolific of a great deal of annoyance, inas- 
much as it has alarmed this speculative element around us with 
the fear that the same (continued) will eventually plant the In- 
dians on their present fertile land so firmly that they cannot 
be removed, and thus they be deprived of the benefits of ma- 
nipulating the sale of their reservation." 

Nevertheless, the Winnebagoes keep on in their work 
building houses, school -buildings, many of them of brick 
made on the ground. 

In this year (1876) they experienced a great injustice in the 
passing of an Act of Congress fixing the total amount to be 
expended for pay of employees at any one agency at not more 
than $10,000. This necessitated the closing of the fine build- 
ing they had built at a cost of $20,000 for the purpose of an 
industrial boarding-schooL 

In this year's report their agent gives a resume of the finan- 
cial condition of the tribe: " By treaty proclaimed June 16th, 
1838, the Winnebagoes ceded to the United States all their 
land east of the Mississippi, in consideration of which they 
were to receive $1,100,000. The balance of this, after making 
certain payments, was to be invested for their benefit, on which 
the United States guaranteed to pay them an annual interest 
of not less than five per cent. 



" The Winnebagoea receive no support from the Govern* 
inent, other than from the interest appropriated annually on 
what remains of these funds. This in 1870 amounted to over 
$50,000. Since then the half-breeds, numbering one hundred 
and sixty persons, members of the tribe remaining in Minneso- 
ta at the time of the removal of the Indians from that State in 
1863, have, in accordance with the provisions of the act mak- 
ing appropriations for the Indian service, approved March 3d, 
1871, been paid their proportion of the principal of all Winne- 
bago funds, as shown on the books of the Treasury at that 
time, including the proportion of $85,000, on which but five 
more instalments of interest were to be paid, per fourth Arti- 
cle treaty October 13th, 1846. In computing this proportion, 
the whole number of the tribe considered as being entitled to 
participate in the benefits of the tribal funds was 1531 ; which 
number included only those located on the Winnebago reser- 
vation in Nebraska at that time, in addition to the one hun- 
dred and sixty already spoken of. By this Act of Congress 
the Nebraska Winnebagoes, who comprise only that portion 
of the tribe which has complied with treaty stipulations, and 
quietly acquiesced in the demands of the Government, were 
deprived of nearly one-eighth part of their accustomed support. 

" Other reductions were afterward made for the purchase of 
a reservation adjoining the old one in this State, and for remov- 
ing to it the wandering bands of Winnebagoes in Wisconsin. 
These were supposed to have numbered in all nearly one thou- 
sand persons. They had not been in the habit of receiving any 
attention or acknowledgment from the Government since they, 
as a tribal organization, had declined to treat with it. Nearly 
all of them objected to removing from Wisconsin to their new 
reservation in Nebraska, and, as a natural consequence, soon 
returned after being compelled to do so. At the present time 
there are probably less than one hundred of the number re- 
maining here. For the past three years the sum to which the 


Wisconsin Winnebagoes would have been entitled Lad they re- 
mained on their reservation, amounting in all to $48,521 07, 
has been set apart, awaiting such act of Congress as will give 
relief in the premises ; thus reducing the total amount received 
per annum by that portion of the tribe living on the reserva- 
tion to but little more than one-half of what it was seven years 
ago. It seems needless to say that they are very much dissatis- 
fied at this, and that when they refer to the subject I have some 
difficulty in satisfying them as to the justice of the govern- 
mental policy in setting apart funds (to be expended at some 
future time) for the benefit of certain individuals who persist in 
absenting themselves from their reservation, while others, who 
are absent but a few months, are deprived of all advantages 
from issues of supplies or payments that may have been made 
during their absence." 

This case is a good illustration of the working of the trustee 
relation between the United States Government and its wards. 

In 1877 we find the Secretary of the Interior still recom- 
mending that the Indians be " gradually gathered together on 
smaller reservations," to the end that "greater facilities be af * 
forded for civilization." He reiterates that " the enjoyment 
and pride of individual ownership of property is one of the 
most effective civilizing agencies," and recommends that " al- 
lotments of small tracts of land should be made to the heads 
of families on all reservations, to be held in severalty under 
proper restrictions, so that they may have fixed homes." 

The commissioner also recommends " a steady concentration 
of the smaller bands of Indians on the larger reservations." 
He calls- attention again to the fact that there are 58,000 square 
miles in the Indian Territory " set apart for the use of Indians, 
and that there they can be fed and clothed at a greatly dimin- 
ished expense ; and, better than all, can be kept in obedience, 
and taught to become civilized and self-supporting." 

In 1878 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs reports that a 


bill has been drawn " providing for the removal and consolida- 
tion of certain Indians in the States of Oregon, Colorado, Iowa, 
Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and the Territo- 
ries of Washington and Dakota. * * * A reduction of twenty- 
five reservations and eleven agencies will thus be effected. * * * 
There will be restored to the public domain 17,642,455 acres 
of land." He says that " further consolidations of like char- 
acter are not only possible, but expedient and advisable. * * * 
There is a vast area of land in the Indian Territory not yet oc- 

With, the same ludicrous, complacent logic as before, he pro- 
ceeds to give as the reason for uprooting all these Indians from 
the homes where they are beginning to thrive and take root, 
and moving them again for the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or 
seventh time, as it may be the fact that, " among the most 
radical defects of the policy formerly pursued with the Indians, 
has been the frequent changes in their location which have 
been made. * * * Permanent homes, sufficient aid to enable 
them to build houses, cultivate the soil, and to subsist them 
until they have harvested their first crops, will wean them en- 
tirely from their old methods of life, and in the course of a 
few years enable them to become entirely self-supporting. * * * 
Among the more forcible arguments which can be presented 
in connection with this subject is the fact that the expenses 
attending the removal and consolidation of the Indians, as here- 
in proposed, mil be more than met from the sale of lands va- 
cated. * * * Much of the land now owned by these Indians is 
valuable only for its timber, and may be sold at an appraised 
value for an amount far in excess of the price fixed by law, 
and yet leave a large margin of profit to the purchaser into 
whose hands the lands will fall. * * * I can see no reason why 
the Government should not avail itself of these facts, and in 
effecting the consolidation of the Indians, and the opening of 
the lands for settlement, sell the same for an amount sufficient 


to support the Indians in their new locations, without any act- 
ual drain on the Treasury in the future. * * * The lands belong 
to the Indians, and they are clearly entitled to receive the full 
value of the same when sold." 

In this sentence we reach the high-water mark of the soph- 
istry and dishonesty of the Department's position. "The 
lands belong to the Indians," but we will compel them to " re- 
store to the public domain" (i. e., to give up to white 'settlers) 
17,642,455 acres of them. The Indians " are clearly entitled 
to receive the full value of the same when sold," but we will 
compel them to expend that "full value" in removing to a 
place where they do not want to go, opening new lands, build- 
ing new houses, buying new utensils, implements, furniture and 
stock, and generally establishing themselves, " without any act- 
ual drain on the Treasury" of the United States: and the 
Department of the Interior " can see no reason why the Gov- 
ernment should not avail itself of these facts." 

All this is proposed with a view to the benefit of the Indians. 
The report goes on to reiterate the same old story that the In- 
dians must have * f a perfect title to their lands;" that they have 
come to feel that they are at any time liable to be moved, 
" whenever the pressure of white settlers upon them may create 
a demand for their lands," and that they " decline to make any 
improvements on their lands, even after an allotment in sever- 
alty has been made, until they have received their patents for 
the same," and that even " after the issue of patents the diffi- 
culties surrounding them do not cease." Evidently not, since, 
as we have seen, it is now several years since every head of a 
family among these Winnebagoes, whose "removal" the com- 
missioner now recommends, secured his "patent" for eighty 
acres of land. 

Finally, the commissioner says : " Every means that human 
ingenuity can devise, legal or illegal, has been resorted to for 
the purpose of obtaining possession of Indian lands," Of this 


there would seem to be left no doubt in the mind of any Intel- 
ligent person, after reading the above quotations. 

It is not to be wondered that when the news of such schemes 
as these reaches the Indians on their reservations great alarm 
and discontent are the result. We find in the reports from 
the Nebraska agencies for this year unmistakable indications 
of disheartenment and anxiety. The Winnebagoes are report- 
ed to be very anxious to be made citizens. A majority are in 
favor of it, " provided the Government will adopt certain meas- 
ures which they consider necessary for the care and protection 
of their property." 

They have had a striking illustration of the disadvantage of 
not being citizens, in an instance of the unpunished murder of 
one of their number by a white man. The story is related by 
the agent tersely and well, and is one of the notable incidents 
in the history of the relation between the United States Gov- 
ernment and its wards. 

" Henry Harris, a Winnebago in good standing, an indus- 
trious man and a successful farmer, was employed by Joseph 
Smith, a white man, to cut wood on his land in Dakota Coun- 
ty, a short distance north of the reservation. While alone and 
thus engaged, on the 29th of last January, Harris was shot 
through the heart with a rifle-ball. I had his dead body taken 
before the coroner of the county, and at the inquest held be- 
fore that officer it was shown, to the satisfaction of the jury 
that rendered a verdict in accordance therewith, that the In- 
dian came to his death at the hands of one D. Balinska, who 
had been for many years leading a hermit's life on a tract of 
land that he owned adjoining the reservation, and who had 
threatened Harris's life a few months before, when they quar- 
relled about damages for corn destroyed by Balinska's horse. 
There being snow on the ground at the time of the murder, 
Balinska was tracked from his home to the place where, under 
cover, he did the shooting ; and his shot-pouch, containing a 


moulded ball of the same weight as the one cut from the body 
of the Indian, was found near by and identified. Notwith- 
standing this direct evidence, which was laid before the Grand- 
jury of Dakota County, that honorable body was unwilling to 
find a ' true bill ;' for the reason, as I understand, that it was only 
an Indian that was killed, and it would not be popular to incur 
the expense of bringing the case to trial. This is but another 
illustration of the difficulty of punishing a white man for a 
wrong committed against an Indian. I need hardly say that 
the Indians, when comparing this murder with that of a white 
man, committed eight years ago by five of their young men 
who, upon less direct evidence, were sentenced to imprisonment 
in the State Penitentiary for life are struck with the wonder- 
ful difference in the application of the same law to whites and 

The report from the Winnebago Agency for 1879 tells the 
story of the sequel to this unpunished murder of Henry Har- 
ris. The agent says : " In my last report I referred to the mur- 
der of one of our best Indian fanners by a white man, who was 
afterward arrested and discharged without trial, though there 
was no question as to his guilt. As a sequel to this, one white 
man is known to have been killed last May by Holly Scott, a 
nephew of the murdered Indian; and another white man is 
supposed to have been killed by Eddy Priest and Thomas 
Walker, two young Indians who have left for Wisconsin. The 
murdered white men had temporarily stopped with the Indians. 
Their antecedents are unknown, and they are supposed to have 
belonged to the fraternity of tramps. Holly Scott was arrested 
by the Indian police, and turned over to the authorities of Da- 
kota County for trial, the State Legislature having at its last 
session extended the jurisdiction of that county over this reser- 
vation, by what authority I am unable to say. 

" The effect of these murders was to unsettle the Indians, 
nearly all industry being suspended for several weeks. They 


feared that the white people would do as they did in Minneso- 
ta in 1862, after the Sioux massacre, when the Winnebagoes 
were driven from their homes in Minnesota. * * * A number 
of our most quiet and industrious men became alarmed, and 
moved their families to Wisconsin, encouraged in so doing by 
the hope of receiving from the Government a share of the 
funds which have been set apart from the annual appropriations 
during the past four years for the benefit of the Wisconsin 
Winnebagoes, and which they suppose aggregate a large amount 
which will soon be paid in cash." 

This brings the story of the Winnebagoes down to the 
present time. What its next chapter may be is saddening to 
think. It is said by those familiar with the Nebraska Indians -. 
that, civilized though they be, they will all make war to the 
knife if the attempt is made by the Government to rob them 
of their present lands on the plea again of offering them a 
"permanent home." That specious pretence has done its last 
duty in the United States service. No Indian is left now so 
imbecile as to believe it once more. 

Whether the Winnebagoes' " patents " in Nebraska would, 
in such a case, prove any stronger than did their " certificates " 
in Minnesota, and whether the Winnebagoes themselves, peace- 
able and civilized though they be, would side with the United 
States Government, or with their wronged and desperate breth- 
ren, in such an uprising, it would be hard to predict. 




THE Cherokees were the Eastern Mountaineers of America. 
Their country lay along the Tennessee River, and in the high- 
lands of Georgia, Carolina, and Alabama the loveliest region 
east of the Mississippi River. Beautiful and grand, with lofty 
mountains and rich valleys fragrant with flowers, and forests of 
magnolia and pine filled with the singing of birds and the mel- 
ody of streams, rich in fruits and nuts and wild grains, it was 
a country worth loving, worth fighting, worth dying for, as 
thousands of its lovers have fought and have died, white men 
as well as red, within the last hundred years. 

When Oglethorpe came with his cargo of Madeira wine and 
respectable paupers from England in 1733, and lived in tents 
in midwinter on the shores of the Savannah River, one of the 
first conditions of safety for his colossal almshouse, in shape of 
a new colony, was that all the Indians in the region should be- 
come its friends and allies. 

The reputation of his goodness and benevolence soon pene- 
trated to- the fastnesses of their homes, and tribe after tribe 
sent chiefs and headmen to greet him with gifts and welcome. 
When the Cherokee chief appeared, Oglethorpe said to him, 
" Fear nothing. Speak freely." " I always speak freely," an- 
swered the mountaineer. "Why should I fear? I am now 
among friends : I never feared, even among my enemies." 

The principal intention of the English trustees who incorpo- 
rated the Georgia colony was to provide a home for worthy 
persons in England who were "in decayed circumstances/ 1 


Among other great ends which they also avowed was "the 
civilization of the savages." In one of Oglethorpe's first re- 
ports to the trustees he says: "A little Indian nation the only 
one within fifty miles is not only in amity, but desirous to be 
subjects to his Majesty King George ; to have lands given to 
them among us, and to breed their children at our schools. 
Their chief and his beloved man, who is the second man in the 
nation, desire to be instructed in the Christian religion." 

The next year he returned to England, carrying with him 
eight Indian chiefs, to show them " so much of Great Britain 
and her institutions as might enable them to judge of her pow- 
er and dignity. * * * Nothing was neglected," we are told, "that 
was likely to awaken their curiosity or impress them with a 
sense of the power and grandeur of the nation." They were 
received by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and by the Fellows 
of Eton, and for a space of four months were hospitably en- 
tertained, and shown all the great sights of London and its 

The tribes at home were much gratified by these attentions 
paid to their representatives, and sent out to the trustees a very 
curious missive, expressing their thanks and their attachment 
to General Oglethorpe. This letter was the production of a 
young Cherokee chief. It was written in black and red hiero- 
glyphs on a dressed buffalo-skin. Before it was sent to Eng- 
land it was exhibited in Savannah, and the meaning of the 
hieroglyphs translated by an interpreter in a grand gathering 
of fifty Indian chiefs and all the principal people of Savannah. 
Afterward the curious document was framed and hung up in 
the Georgia Office in Westminster. 

When the Wesleyan missionaries arrived in Georgia, two 
years later, some of the chiefs who had made this visit to Eng- 
land went to meet them, carrying large jars of honey and of 
milk as gifts, to " represent their inclinations ;" and one of the 
chiefs said to Mr. Wesley, " I aan glad you are come. When I 


was in England I desired that some one would speak the Great 
Word to me. I will go up and speak to the wise men of our 
nation, and I hope they will hear. But we would not be made 
Christians as the Spaniards make Christians; we would bo 
taught before we are baptized." 

In those early days Wesley was an intolerant and injudicious 
enthusiast. His missionary work in the Georgia Colony was 
anything but successful in the outset, either among the whites 
or the Indians, and there was ample justification for the reply 
which this same Indian chief made later when urged to em- 
brace the doctrines of Christianity. 

" Why, these are Christians at Savannah. Those are Chris- 
tians at Frederica. Christians get drunk ! Christians beat men ! 
Christians tell lies ! Me no Christian 1" On another occasion 
Wesley asked him what he thought he was made for. " He 
that is above," answered the chief, " knows what he made us 
for. We know nothing ; we are in the dark ; but white men 
know much. And yet white men build great houses, as if they 
were to live forever. But white men cannot live forever. In a 
little time white men will be dust as well as I." 

For twenty years Oglethorpe's colony struggled on under 
great difficulties and discouragements. Wars with France and 
with Spain; tiresome squabbles with and among Methodist 
missionaries, all combined to make Oglethorpe's position hard. 
Again and again England would have lost her colony except 
for the unswerving fidelity of the Indian allies; they gath- 
ered by hundreds to fight for Oglethorpe. In one expedition 
against the frontier, four hundred Creeks and six hundred 
Cherokees set out in one day, under an urgent call for help 
sent by Indian runners to their towns. His Indian friends 
were the only friends Oglethorpe had who stood by him past 
everything : nothing could shake their fidelity. 

" He is poor ; he can give you nothing," said the St. Au- 
gustine Spaniards to a Creek chief at this time ; " it is foolish 


for you to go to him :" and they showed to the Indian a fine 
suit of scarlet clothes, and a sword, which they were about to 
give to a chief of the Tennessees who had become their ally. 

But the Creek answered, " We love him. It is true, he does 
not give us silver ; but he gives us everything we want that he 
has. He has given me the coat off his back, and the blanket 
from under him." 

At last the trustees of the Georgia Colony lost patience, 
very bitterly they had learned that paupers, however worthy, 
are not good stuff to build new enterprises of. In eighteen 
years the colony had not once furnished a sufficient supply of 
subsistence for its own consumption : farms which had been 
cultivated were going to ruin ; and the country was rapidly de- 
generating in eveiy respect. Dishonest traders had tampered 
with and exasperated the Indians, so that their friendliness 
could no longer be implicitly trusted. For everything that 
went wrong the English Company was held responsible, and 
probably there were no happier men in all England on the 20th 
of June, 1752, than were the Georgia trustees, who on that 
day formally resigned their charter, and washed their hands of 
the colony forever. 

The province was now formed into a royal government, and 
very soon became the seat of frightful Indian wars. The new 
authorities neither understood nor kept faith with the Indians : 
their old friend Oglethorpe had left them forever, and the same 
scenes of treachery and massacre which were being enacted at 
the North began to be repeated with heart-sickening similarity 
at the South. Indians fighting Indians fighting as allies to- 
day with the French, to-morrow with the English; treaties 
made, and broken as soon as made ; there was neither peace 
nor safety anywhere. 

At last, in 1*763, a treaty was concluded with the chiefs and 
headmen of five tribes, which seemed to promise better things. 
The Cherokees and Creeks granted to the King of England a 


large tract of land, cleared off their debts with the sum paid fot 
it, and observed its stipulations faithfully for several years, un- 
til peace was again destroyed, this time by no fault of the In- 
dians, in consequence of the revolt of the American Colonies 
against Great Britain. The English loyalists in Georgia now 
availed themselves of the Indians' old habit of allegiance to the 
Crown. One of their leading agents took a Cherokee woman 
as his mistress, placed her at the head of his table, gave her the 
richest dress and equipage that the country could afford, and 
distributed through her lavish gifts to all the Indians he could 
reach. When war actually broke out he retreated with her 
into the fastnesses of the Cherokee nation, where he swayed 
them at his will. Attempts to capture him were repelled by 
the Cherokees with ferocity. Prisoners taken by them at this 
time were tortured with great cruelty ; one instance is recorded 
(in a journal kept by another prisoner, who escaped alive) of a 
boy about twelve years of age who was suspended by the arms 
between two posts, and raised about three feet from the ground. 
" The mode of inflicting the torture was by light-wood splints 
of about eighteen inches long, made sharp at one end and 
fractured at the other, so that the torch might not be extin- 
guished by throwing it. After these weapons of death were 
prepared, and a fire made for the purpose of lighting them, the 
scene of horror commenced. It was deemed a mark of dexter- 
ity, and accompanied by shouts of applause, when an Indian 
threw one of these torches so as to make the sharp end stick 
into the body of the suffering youth without extinguishing the 
torch. This description of torture was continued for two hours 
before the innocent victim was relieved by death." 

These are sickening details, and no doubt will be instinctive- 
ly set down by most readers as proof of innate cruelty peculiar 
to the Indian race. Let us, therefore, set side by side with 
them the record that in this same war white men (British of- 
ficers) confined white men ("rebels") in prison-ships, starved, 


and otherwise maltreated them till they died, five or six a day, 
then threw their dead bodies into the nearest marsh, and had 
them "trodden down in the mud from whence they were soon 
exposed by the washing of the tides, and at low -water the 
prisoners beheld the carrion-crows picking the bones of their 
departed companions !" Also, that white men (British officers) 
were known at that time to have made thumb-screws out of 
musket-locks, to torture Georgia women, wives of " rebels," to 
force them to reveal the places where their husbands were in 
hiding. Innate cruelty is not exclusively an Indian trait. 

The Cherokees had the worst of the fighting on the British 
side during the Revolution. Again and again their towns were 
burnt, their winter stores destroyed, and whole bands reduced 
to the verge of starvation. At one time, when hard pressed by 
the American forces, they sent to the Creeks for help ; but the 
shrewd Creeks replied, " You have taken the thorns out of our 
feet; you are welcome to them." The Creeks, having given 
only limited aid to the British, had suffered much less severely. 
That any of the Indians should have joined the " rebel " cause 
seems wonderful, as they had evidently nothing to gain by the 
transfer of their allegiance to what must have appeared to 
them for a long time to be the losing side in the contest. For 
three years and a half Savannah was in the possession of the 
British, and again and again they had control of the entire 
State. And to show that they had no compunction about in- 
citing the Indians to massacres they left many a written record 
such, for instance, as this, which is in a letter written by 
General Gage from Boston, June, 1775 : " We need not be ten- 
der of calling on the savages to attack the Americans."* 

The first diplomatic relations of the United States Govern- 
ment with the Cherokees were in the making of the treaty of 
Hopewell, in 1785. At the Hopewell council the United States 

* See Appendix, Art. X, 


commissioners said : " Congress is now the sovereign of all our 
country which we now point out to you on tlio map. They 
want none of your lands, nor anything else which belongs to 
you ; and as an earnest of their regard for you, we propose to 
enter into articles of a treaty perfectly equal and conformable 
to what we now tell you. * * * This humane and generous act 
of the United States will no doubt be received by you with 
gladness, and held in grateful remembrance ; and the more so, 
as many of your young men, and the greater number of your 
warriors, during the late war, were our enemies, and assisted the 
King of Great Britain in his endeavors to conquer our coun- 

The chiefs complained bitterly of the encroachments of white 
settlers upon lands which had been by old treaties distinctly re- 
served to the Cherokees. They demanded that some of these 
settlers should be removed ; and when the commissioners said 
that the settlers were too numerous for the Government to re- 
move, one of the chiefs asked, satirically, "Are Congress, who 
conquered the King of Great Britain, unable to remove those 

Finally, the chiefs agreed to accept payment for the lands 
which had been taken. New boundaries were established, and 
a general feeling of good-will and confidence was created. One 
notable feature in this council was the speech of an Indian 
woman, called the " war-woman of Chota." (Chota was the 
Cherokees' city of refuge. All murderers were safe so long as 
they lived in Chota. Even Englishmen had not disdained to 
take advantage of its shelter; one English trader who had 
killed an Indian, having fled, lived there for many months, his 
own house being but a short distance away. After a time he 
resolved to return home, but the headmen of the tribe assured 
him that, though he was entirely safe there, he would surely be 
killed if he left the town.) The chief who brought this " war- 
woman" to the council introduced her as "one of our beloved 


women who has borne and raised up warriors." She proceed- 
ed to say, " I am fond of hearing that there is a peace, and I 
hope you have now taken us by the hand in real friendship. I 
have a pipe and a little tobacco to give the commissioners to 
smoke in friendship. I look on you and the red people as my 
children. Your having determined on peace is most pleasing 
to me, for I have seen much trouble during the late war. I am 
old, but I hope yet to bear children who will grow up and peo- 
ple our nation, as we are now to be under the protection of 
Congress, and shall have no disturbance." 

A brief summary of the events which followed on the nego* 
tiation of this treaty may be best given in the words of a re- 
port made by the Secretary of "War to the President four years 
later. In July, 1789, General Knox writes as follows of the 
Cherokees : " This nation of Indians, consisting of separate 
towns or villages, are seated principally on the head-waters of 
the Tennessee, which runs into the Ohio. Their hunting- 
grounds extend from the Cumberland River along the frontiers 
of Virginia, North and South Carolina, and part of Georgia. 

" The frequent wars they have had with the frontier people 
of the said States have greatly diminished their number. The 
commissioners estimated them in November, 1785, at 2000 
warriors, but they were estimated in 1787 at 2650; yet it is 
probable they may be lessened since by the depredations com- 
mitted on them. 

" The United States concluded a treaty with the Cherokees 
at Hopewell, on the Keowee, the 28th of November, 1785, 
which is entered on the printed journals of Congress April 
17th, 1786. The negotiations of the commissioners on the 
part of the United States are hereunto annexed, marked A. It 
will appear by the papers marked B. that the State of North 
Carolina, by their agent, protested against the said treaty as in- 
fringing and violating the legislative rights of that State. 

"By a variety of evidence which has been submitted to the 


last Congress, it lias been proved that the said treaty has been 
entirely disregarded by the white people inhabiting the fron- 
tiers, styling themselves the State of Franklin. The proceed- 
ings of Congress on the 1st of September, 1788, and the proc- 
lamation they then issued on this subject, will show their 
sense of the many unprovoked outrages committed against the 

" The information contained in the papers marked C., from 
Colonel Joseph Martin, the late agent to the Cherokees, and 
Richard Winn, Esq., will further evince the deplorable situation 
of the Cherokees, and the indispensable obligation of the United 
States to vindicate their faith, justice, and national dignity. 

"The letter of Mr. Winn, the late superintendent, of the 
1st of March, informs that a treaty will be held with the Cher- 
okees on the third Monday of May, at the Upper War-ford on 
French Broad River. But it is to be observed that the time 
for which both he and Colonel Joseph Martin, the agent to the 
Cherokees and Chickasaws, were elected has expired, and there- 
fore they are not authorized to act on the part of the Union. 
If the commissioners appointed by North Carolina, South Car- 
olina, and Georgia, by virtue of the resolve of Congress of the 
26th of October, 1787, should attend the said treaty, their pro- 
ceedings thereon may soon be expected. But, as part of the 
Cherokees have taken refuge within the limits of the Creeks, 
it is highly probable they will be under the same direction ; 
and, therefore, as the fact of the violation of the treaty cannot 
be disputed, and as the commissioners have not power to re- 
place the Cherokees within the limits established in 1785, it is 
not probable, even if a treaty should be held, as stated by Mr. 
Winn, that the result would be satisfactory." 

This is the summing up of the situation. The details of it 
are to be read in copious volumes of the early history of Ten- 
nessee, North and South Carolina, and Georgia all under the 
head of "Indian Atrocities." To very few who read those 


records does it occur that the Indians who committed these 
" atrocities " were simply ejecting by force, and, in the con- 
tests arising from this forcible ejectment, killing men who had 
usurped and stolen their lands lands ceded to them by the 
United States Government in a solemn treaty, of which the 
fifth Article was as follows : 

"If any citizen of the United States or other person, not be- 
ing an Indian, shall attempt to settle on any of the lands west- 
ward or southward of the said boundaries which are hereby 
allotted to the Indians for their hunting-grounds, or having 
already settled and will not remove from the same within six 
months after the ratification of this treaty, such person shall 
forfeit the protection of the United States, and the Indians 
may punish him or not as they please" 

It is evident that it is necessary to go back to the days of 
the first treaties with our Indians to possess ourselves of the 
first requisites for fair judgment of their conduct toward white 
men. What would a community of white men, situated pre- 
cisely as these Cherokees were, have done ? What did these 
very Southern colonists themselves do to Spaniards who en- 
croached on their lands? Fought them; killed them; burnt 
their houses over their heads, and drove them into the sea ! 

In a later communication in the same year to the President, 
the Secretary says : " The disgraceful violation of the treaty of 
Hopewell with the Cherokees requires the serious consideration 
of Congress. If so direct and manifest contempt of the au- 
thority of the United States be suffered with impunity, it will 
be in vain to attempt to extend the arm of the Government to 
the frontiers. The Indian tribes can have no faith in such im- 
becile promises, and the lawless whites will ridicule a govern- 
ment which shall on paper only make Indian treaties and reg- 
ulate Indian boundaries." 

The President, thus entreated, addressed himself to the Sen- 
ate, and asked their advice. He recapitulated the facts as set 


forth by General Knox, " that upward of five hundred fami- 
lies are settled on the Cherokee lands," and asks, 

" 1st. Is it the judgment of the Senate that overtures shall be 
made to the Cherokees to arrange a new boundary, so as to 
embrace the settlements made by the white people since the 
treaty of Hopewell in November, 1785 ? 

" 2d. If so, shall compensation to the amount of $ annu- 
ally, or of $ in gross, be made to the Cherokees for the 

land they shall relinquish, holding the occupiers of the land 
accountable to the United States for its value? 

" 3d. Shall the United States stipulate solemnly to guarantee 
the new boundary which may be arranged ?" 

The Senate thereupon resolved that the President should, 
at his discretion, cause .the Hopewell treaty to be carried out, 
or make a new one ; but, in case a new one was made, the 
"Senate do advise and consent solemnly to guarantee the 

Accordingly, in July, 1791, a new treaty the treaty of 
Holston was made with the Cherokees, new boundaries estab- 
lished, and $1000 a year promised to the tribe for the lands 

By the seventh Article of this treaty the United States " sol- 
emnly guarantee to the Cherokee nation all their lands not 
hereby ceded : the eighth Article reiterates the old permission 
that if any citizen of the United States or other person (not an 
Indian) shall settle on the Cherokees' lands, the Cherokees may 
punish him as they please. Article ninth says that no citizen 
or inhabitant of the United States shall hunt or destroy game 
on the Cherokee lands, or go into the Cherokee country with- 
out a passport from the governor or some other authorized 

The next year the Cherokees sent an embassy to Philadelphia 
to ask for an increase of $500 in their annuity. One of the 
chiefs said that he had told Governor Blunt the year before 


that he would not consent to selling the lands for $1000 a 
year. "It would not buy a breech-clout for each of my na- 
tion ;" which was literally true. 

To this additional annuity the Senate consented, and with 
this the chiefs said they were " perfectly satisfied." But they 
begged for the ploughs, hoes, cattle, etc., which had been prom- 
ised in the treaty. They said, " Game is going fast away from 
among us. We must plant corn and raise cattle, and we want 
you to assist us." 

In 1Y94 it was necessary to mate another treaty, chiefly to 
declare that the Holston treaty was in " full force and bind- 
ing." It had not been " fully carried into execution by reason 
of misunderstandings," it was said. This was very true ; white 
settlers had gone where they pleased, as if it did not exist ; 
Cherokees had murdered them, as they were, by their treaty, 
explicitly permitted to do. The whites had retaliated by 
unprovoked attacks on friendly Indians, and the Indians had 
retaliated again. The exasperated Indians implored Congress 
to protect them : the still more exasperated whites demanded 
of Congress to protect them. The Secretary of War writes 
despairingly, that "The desire of too many frontier white 
people to seize by force or fraud on the neighboring Indian 
lands continues to be an unceasing cause of jealousy and 
hatred on the part of the Indians ; and it would appear, upon 
a calm investigation, that until the Indians can be quieted 
on this point, and rely with confidence on the protection of 
their lands by the United States, no well-grounded hope of 
tranquillity can be entertained." 

In this miserable manner, unjust equally to the white men 
and to the Indians, affairs went on for several years, until in 
1801 it became absolutely necessary that in some way a definite 
understanding of boundaries, and an authoritative enforcement 
of rights on both sides, should be brought about ; accordingly, 
commissioners were sent by the President " to obtain the con- 


sent of the Cherokees " to new grants of land and establish- 
ment of boundaries. The instructions given to these commis- 
sioners are remarkable for their reiterated assertion of the In- 
dians' unquestioned right to do as they please about ceding these 
lands. Such phrases as these : " Should the Indians refuse to 
cede to the United States any of the above-designated lands,'* 
and " you will endeavor to prevail upon them to cede," and 
" you will endeavor to procure the consent of the Indians," are 
proof of the fulness of the recognition the United States Gov- 
ernment at that time gave of the Indians' " right of occupan- 
cy; 1 ' also of the realization on the part of the Government that 
these Indian nations were powers whose good-will it was of im- 
portance to conciliate. " It is of importance," the instructions 
say, " that the Indian nations generally should be convinced of 
the certainty in which they may at all times rely upon the 
friendship of the United States, and that the President will 
never abandon them or their children;" and, "It will be in- 
cumbent on you to introduce the desires of the Government in 
such a manner as will permit you to drop them, as you may 
find them illy received, without giving the Indians an opportu- 
nity to reply with a decided negative, or raising in them un- 
friendly and inimical dispositions. You will state none of them 
in the tone of demands, but in the first instance merely mention 
them as propositions which you are authorized to make, and 
their assent to which the Government would consider as new 
testimonials of their friendship." 

Nevertheless, the Cherokees did reply with " a decided nega- 
tive." They utterly refused to cede any more lands, or to give 
their consent to the opening of any more roads through their 
territory. Bat it only took four years to bring them to the 
point where they were ready to acquiesce in the wishes of the 
Government, and to make once more the effort to secure to 
themselves an unmolested region, by giving up several large 
tracts of land and a right of way on several roads. In 1805 they 


concluded another treaty, ceding territory for which the United 
States thought it worth while to pay $15,000 immediately, and 
an annuity of $3000. 

Ten years later (in 1816) they gave up all their lands in 
South Carolina, and the United States became surety that 
South Carolina should pay to them $5000 for the same. In 
the autumn of the same year they made still another cession of 
lands to the United States Government, for which they were to 
have an annuity of $6000 a year for ten years, and $5000 as 
compensation for the improvements they surrendered. 

In 1817 an important treaty was concluded, making still 
further cessions of lands, and defining the position of a part of 
the Cherokee nation which had moved away, with the Presi- 
dent's permission, to the Arkansas River in 1809. The eighth 
Article of this treaty promises that the United States will give 
to every head of an Indian family residing on the east side of 
the Mississippi, who may wish to become a citizen, " a reserva- 
tion of six hundred and forty acres of land, in which they will 
have a life estate, with a reversion in fee-simple to their chil- 

What imagination could have foreseen that in less than 
twenty years the chiefs of this Cherokee nation would be 
found piteously pleading to be allowed to remain undisturbed 
on these very lands? In the whole history of our Govern- 
ment's dealings with the Indian tribes, there is no record so 
black as the record of its perfidy to this nation. There will 
come a time in the remote future when, to the student of 
American history, it will seem well-nigh incredible. From the 
beginning of the century they had been steadily advancing in 
civilization. As far back as 1800 they had begun the manu- 
facture of cotton cloth, and in 1820 there was scarcely a fam- 
ily in that part of the nation living east of the Mississippi but 
what understood the use of the card and spinning-wheel. Ev- 
ery family had its farm under cultivation. The territory was 


laid off into districts, with a council-house, a judge, and a mar- 
shal in each district. A national committee and council were 
the supreme authority in the nation. Schools were flourishing 
in all the villages. Printing-presses were at wort. 

Their territory was larger than the three States of Massachu- 
setts, Khode Island, and Connecticut combined. It embraced 
the North-western part of Georgia, the North-east of Alabama, 
a corner of Tennessee and of North Carolina. They were en- 
thusiastic in their efforts to establish and perfect their own 
system of jurisprudence. Missions of several sects were estab- 
lished in their country, and a large number of them had pro- 
fessed Christianity, and were li ving exemplary lives. 

There is no instance in all history of a race of people pass- 
ing in so short a space of tune from the barbarous stage to the 
agricultural and civilized. And it was such a community as 
this that the State of Georgia, by one high-handed outrage, 
made outlaws! passing on the 19th of December, 1829, a 
law " to annul all laws and ordinances made by the Cherokee 
nation of Indians ;" declaring " all laws, ordinances, orders, and 
regulations of any kind whatever, made, passed, or enacted by 
the Cherokee Indians, either in general council or in any other 
way whatever, or by any authority whatever, null and void, and 
of no effect, as if the same had never existed ; also, that no In- 
dian, or descendant of any Indian residing within the Creek or 
Cherokee nations of Indians, shall be deemed a competent wit- 
ness in any court of this State to which a white man may be a 

What had so changed the attitude of Georgia to the Indians 
within her borders i Simply the fact that the Indians, finding 
themselves hemmed in on all sides by fast thickening white 
settlements, had taken a firm stand that they would give up no 
more land. So long as they would cede and cede, and grant 
and grant tract after tract, and had millions of acres still left to 
cede and grant, the selfishness of white men took no alarm ; 


but once consolidated into an empire, with fixed and inaliena- 
ble boundaries, powerful, recognized, and determined, the Cher- 
okee nation would be a thorn in the flesh to her white neigh- 
bors. The doom of the Cherokees was sealed on the day when 
they declared, once for all, officially as a nation, that they would 
not sell another foot of land. This they did in an interesting 
and pathetic message to the United States Senate in 1822. 

Georgia, through her governor and her delegates to Congress, 
had been persistently demanding to have the Cherokees com- 
pelled to give up their lands. She insisted that the United 
States Government should fulfil a provision, made in an old 
compact of 1802, to extinguish the Indian titles within her 
limits as soon as it could be peaceably done. This she de- 
manded should be done now, either peaceably or otherwise. 

" We cannot but view the design of those letters," says this 
message, " as an attempt bordering on a hostile disposition to- 
ward the Cherokee nation to wrest from them by arbitrary 
means their just rights and liberties, the security of which is 
solemnly guaranteed to them by these United States. * * * We 
assert under the fullest authority that all the sentiments ex- 
pressed in relation to the disposition and determination of the 
nation never to cede another foot of land, are positively the 
production and voice of the nation. * * * There is not a spot 
out of the limits of any of the States or Territories thereof, 
and within the limits of the United States, that they would 
ever consent to inhabit ; because they have unequivocally de- 
termined never again to pursue the chase as heretofore, or to 
engage in wars, unless by the common call of the Government 
to defend the common rights of the United States. * * * The 
Cherokees have turned their attention to the pursuits of the 
civilized man : agriculture, manufactures, and the mechanic arts 
and education are all in successful operation in the nation at 
this time ; and while the Cherokees are peacefully endeavoring 
to enjoy the blessings of civilization and Christianity on the 


soil of their rightful inheritance, and while the exertions and 
labors of various religious societies of these United States are 
successfully engaged in promulgating to them the words of 
truth and life from the sacred volume of Holy "Writ, and under 
the patronage of the General Government, they are threatened 
with removal or extinction. * * * We appeal to the magnanimi- 
ty of the American Congress for justice, and the protection of 
the rights and liberties and lives of the Cherokee people. "We 
claim it from the United States by the strongest obligation 
which imposes it on them by treaties : and we expect it from 
them under that memorable declaration, * that all men are cre- 
ated equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator with cer* 
tain inalienable rights ; that among these are life, liberty, and 
the pursuit of happiness.' " 

The dignified and pathetic remonstrances of the Cherokee 
chiefs, their firm reiterations of their resolve not to part with 
their lands, were called by the angry Georgian governor " tricks 
of vulgar cunning," and " insults from the polluted lips of out- 
casts and vagabonds ;" and he is not afraid, in an official letter 
to the Secretary of War, to openly threaten the President that, 
if he upholds the Indians in their rejection of the overtures for 
removal, the " consequences are inevitable," and that, in resist- 
ing the occupation of the Cherokee lands by the Georgians, he 
will be obliged to " make war upon, and shed the blood of 
brothers and friends." 

To these Cherokees Mr. Jefferson had written, at one time 
during his administration, " I sincerely wish you may succeed 
in your laudable endeavors to save the remnant of your nation 
by adopting industrious occupations, and a government of reg- 
ular law. In this you may always rely on the counsel and as- 
sistance of the United States." 

In 1791 he had written to General Knox, defining the United 
States' position in the matter of Indian lands : " Government 
should firmly maintain this ground, that the Indians have a 



right to the occupation of their lands independent of the States 
within whose chartered lines they happen to be; that until 
they cede them hy treaty, or other transaction equivalent to 
treaty, no act of a State can give a right to such lands. * * * 
The Government is determined to exert all its energy for the 
patronage and protection of the rights of the Indians." 

And the year hefore General Washington had said to the 
Six Nations: "In future you cannot be defrauded of your 
lands. No State or person can purchase your lands unless at 
some public treaty held under the authority of the United 
States. The General Government will never consent to your 
being defrauded; but it will protect you in all your just 
rights. * * * You possess the right to sell, and the right of re- 
fusing to sell your lands. * * * The United States will be true 
and faithful to their engagements." 

What could Cherokee men and women have thought when, 
only thirty years later, they found this United States Govern- 
ment upholding the State of Georgia in her monstrous preten- 
sions of right to the whole of their country, and in her infa- 
mous cruelties of oppression toward them ? when they found 
this United States Government sending its agents to seduce and 
bribe their chiefs to bargain away their country ; even stooping 
to leave on the public records of official instructions to a com- 
missioner such phrases as these: "Appeal to the chiefs and in- 
fluential men not together, but apart, at their own houses ;" 
" make offers to them of extensive reservations in fee-simple, 
and other rewards, to obtain their acquiescence ;" " the more 
careful you are to secure from even the chiefs the official char- 
acter you bear, the better;" " enlarge on the advantage of their 
condition in the West: there the Government would protect 
them." This the Secretary of War called " moving on them in 
the line of their prejudices." 

In a report submitted to the War Department in 1825 by 
Thomas L. McKenney is a glowing description of the Chcro 


country and nation at that time: "The country is well watered; 
abundant springs of pure water are found in every part ; a 
range of majestic and lofty mountains stretch themselves across 
it. The northern part is hilly and mountainous ; in the south- 
ern and western parts there are extensive and fertile plains, 
covered partly with tall trees, through which beautiful streams 
of water glide. These plains furnish immense pasturage, and 
numberless herds of cattle are dispersed over them ; horses are 
plenty ; numerous flocks of sheep, goats, and swine cover the 
valleys and the hills. On Tennessee, Ustanula, and Canasagi 
rivers Cherokee commerce floats. The climate is delicious and 
healthy ; the winters are mild ; the spring clothes the ground 
with the richest scenery ; flowers of exquisite beauty and varie- 
gated hues meet and fascinate the eye in every direction. In 
the plains and valleys the soil is generally rich, producing In- 
dian-corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, oats, indigo, and sweet and 
Irish potatoes. The natives carry on considerable trade with 
the adjoining States; some of them export cotton in boats 
down the Tennessee to the Mississippi, and down that river to 
New Orleans. Apple and peach orchards are quite common, 
and gardens are cultivated, and much attention paid to them. 
Butter and cheese are seen on Cherokee tables. There are 
many public roads in the nation, and houses of entertainment 
kept by natives. Numerous and flourishing villages are seen 
in every section of the country. Cotton and woollen cloths are 
manufactured: blankets of various dimensions, manufactured 
by Cherokee hands, are very common. Almost every family in 
the nation grows cotton for its own consumption. Industry 
and commercial enterprise are extending themselves in every 
part. Nearly all the merchants in the nation are native Chero- 
kees. Agricultural pursuits engage the chief attention of the 
people. Different branches in mechanics are pursued. The 
population is rapidly increasing. * * * "White men in the nation 
enjoy all the immunities and privileges of the Cherokee people, 


except that they are not eligible to public offices, * ^ * The 
Christian religion is the religion of the nation. Presbyterians, 
Methodists, Baptists, and Moravians are the most numerous 
sects. Some of the most influential characters are members of 
the Church, and live consistently with their professions. The 
whole nation is penetrated with gratitude for the aid it has re- 
ceived from the United States Government, and from different 
religious societies. Schools are ibcreasing every year; learn- 
ing is encouraged and rewarded ; the young class acquire the 
English, and those of mature age the Cherokee system of learn- 
ing. * * * Our relations with all nations are of the most friend- 
ly character. We are out of debt, and our public revenue is in 
a flourishing condition. Besides the amount arising from im- 
ports, perpetual annuity is due from the United States in con- 
sideration of lands ceded in former periods. Our system of 
government, founded on republican principles by which justice 
is equally distributed, secures the respect of the people. New 
Town, pleasantly situated in the centre of the nation, and at 
the junction of the Canasagi and Gusuwati, two beautiful 
streams, is the seat of government The legislative power is 
vested in what is denominated in native dialect Tsalagi Tini- 
lawige, consisting of a national committee and council Mem- 
bers of both branches are chosen by and from the people for 
a limited period. In New Town a printing-press is soon to be 
established ; also a national library and museum. An immense 
concourse of people frequent the seat of government when the 
Tsalagi Tinilawige is in session, which takes place once a 

" The success which has attended the philological researches 
of one in the nation whose system of education has met with 
universal approbation among the Cherokees certainly entitles 
him to great consideration, and to rank with the benefactors of 
man. His name is Guess, and he is a native and unlettered 
Cherokee ; but, like Cadmus, he has given to his people the 


alphabet of their language. It is composed of eighty-six char- 
acters, by -which in a few days the older Indians, who had de- 
spaired of deriving an education by means of the schools, and 
who are not included in the existing school system, may read 
and correspond."* 

Never did mountaineers cling more desperately to their 
homes than did the Cherokees. The State of Georgia put the 
whole nation in duress, but*$till they chose to stay. Tear by 
year high-handed oppressions increased and multiplied; mili- 
tary law reigned everywhere ; Cherokee lands were surveyed, 
and put up to be drawn by lottery ; missionaries were arrested 
and sent to prison for preaching to Cherokees ; Cherokees were 
sentenced to death by Georgia juries, and hung by Georgia 
executioners. Appeal after appeal to the President and to 
Congress for protection produced only reiterated confessions 
of the Government's inability to protect them reiterated pro- 
posals to them to accept a price for their country and move 
away. Nevertheless they clung to it. A few hundreds went, 
but the body of the nation still protested and entreated. There 
is nothing in history more touching than the cries of this peo- 
ple to the Government of the United States to fulfil its prom- 
ises to them. And their cause was not without eloquent ad- 
vocates. When the bill for their removal was before Congress, 
Frelinghuysen, Spragua, Bobbins, Storrs, Ellsworth, Evans, 
Huntingtpn, Johns, Bates, Crockett, Everett, Test all spoke 
warmly against it ; and, to the credit of Congress be it said, 
the bill passed the Senate by only one majority. 

The Rev, Jeremiah Evarts published a series of papers in the 
National Intelligencer under the signature of William Penn, 
in which he gave a masterly analysis and summing up of the 
case, recapitulated the sixteen treaties which the Government 
had made with the Cherokees, all guaranteeing to them their 

* See Appendix, Art IX. 


lands, and declared that the Government bad " arrived at the 
bank of the Kubicon," where it must decide if it would or 
would not save the country from the charge of bad faith. 
Many of his eloquent sentences read in the light of the present 
time like prophecies. He says, " in a quarter of a century the 
pressure upon the Indians will be much greater from the 
boundless prairies, which must ultimately be subdued and in- 
habited, than it would ever have been from the borders of the 
present Cherokee country;" and asks, pertinently, "to what 
confidence would such an engagement be entitled, done at the 
very moment that treaties with Indians are declared not to 
be binding, and for the very reason that existing treaties are 
not strong enough to bind the United States." Eemonstrances 
poured in upon Congress, petitions and memorials from relig- 
ious societies, from little country villages, all imploring the 
Government to keep its faith to these people. 

The Cherokees' own newspaper, The Phcenisc, was filled at 
this time with the records of the nation's suffering and despair. 

" The State of Georgia has taken a strong 1 stand against us, 
and the United States must either defend us and our rights 
or leave us to our foe. In the latter case she will violate her 
promise of protection, and we cannot in future depend upon 
any guarantee to us, either here or beyond the Mississippi. 

" If the United States shall withdraw their solemn pledges 
of protection, utterly disregard their plighted faith, deprive us 
of the right of self-government, and wrest from us our land, 
then, in the deep anguish of our misfortunes, we may justly 
say there is no place of security for us, no confidence left that 
the United States will be more just and faithful toward us 
in the barren prairies of the West than when we occupied the 
soil inherited from the Great Author of our existence." 

As a last resort the Cherokees carried their case before the 
Supreme Court, and implored that body to restrain the State 
of Georgia from her unjust interference with their rights. 


The reports of the case of the Cherokee Nation vs. the State of 
Georgia fill a volume by themselves, and are of vital importance 
to the history of Indian affairs. The majority of the judges 
decided that an Indian trihe could not be considered as a for- 
eign nation, and therefore could not bring the suit. Judge 
Thompson and Judge Story dissented from this opinion, and 
held that the Cherokee tribe did constitute a foreign nation, and 
that the State of Georgia ought to be enjoined from execution 
of its unjust laws. The opinion of Chancellor Kent coincided 
with that of Judges Thompson and Story. Chancellor Kent 
gave it as his opinion that the cases in which the Supreme 
Court had. jurisdiction would "reach and embrace every contro- 
versy that can arise between the Cherokees and the State of 
Georgia or its officers under the execution of the act of Georgia." 

But all this did not help the Cherokees; neither did the 
fact of the manifest sympathy of the whole court with their 
wrongs. The technical legal decision had been rendered 
against them, and this delivered them over to the tender 
mercies of Georgia : no power in the land could help them. 
Fierce factions now began to be formed in the nation, one for 
and one against the surrender of their lands. Many were ready 
still to remain and suffer till death rather than give them up ; 
but wiser counsels prevailed, and in the last days of the year 
1835 a treaty was concluded with the United States by twenty 
of the Cherokee chiefs and headmen, who thereby, in behalf 
of their nation, relinquished all the lands claimed or possessed 
by them east of the Mississippi River. 

The preamble of this treaty is full of pathos: "Whereas, 
The Cherokees are anxious to make some arrangement with the 
Government of the United States whereby the difficulties they 
have experienced by a residence within the settled parts of the 
United States under the jurisdiction and laws of the State gov- 
ernments may be terminated and adjusted ; and with a view 
to reuniting their people in one body, and securing a perms* 


nent home for themselves and their posterity in the country 
selected by their forefathers without the territorial limits of 
the State sovereignties, and where they can establish and enjoy 
a government of their choice, and perpetuate such a state of 
society as may be most consonant with their views, habits, and 
condition, and as may tend to their individual comfort and 
their advancement in civilization." 

By this treaty the Cherokees gave up a country " larger than 
the three States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connec- 
ticut combined, and received therefor five millions of dollars 
and seven millions of acres of land west of the Mississippi." 
This the "United States " guaranteed, and secured to be convey- 
ed in patent," and defined it by exact boundaries ; and, " in ad- 
dition to the seven millions of acres of land thus provided for 
and bounded," the United States did "further guarantee to 
the Cherokee nation a perpetual outlet west, and a free and un- 
molested use of all the country west of the western boundary 
of said seven millions of acres, as far west as the sovereignty 
of the United States and their rights of soil extend." 

The fifth Article of this treaty is, "The United States here- 
by covenant and agree that the lands ceded to the Cherokee 
nation in the foregoing article shall in no future time, without 
their consent, be included within the territorial limits or juris- 
diction of any State or Territory." 

In the sixth Article is this promise: "The United States 
agree to protect the Cherokee nation from domestic strife and 
foreign enemies, and against intestine wars between the sev- 
eral tribes." 

Even after this treaty was made a great part of the nation 
refused to sanction it, saying that it did not represent their 
wish ; they would never carry it out ; hundreds refused to re- 
ceive any longer either money or supplies from the United 
States agents, lest they should be considered to have thereby 
committed themselves to the treaty. 


In 1837 General Wool wrote from the Cherokee country 
that the people "uniformly declare that they never made the 
treaty in question. * * * So determined are they in their oppo- 
sition that not one of all those who were present, and voted in 
the council held but a day or two since at this place, however 
poor or destitute, would receive either rations or clothing from 
the United States, lest they might compromise themselves in 
regard to the treaty. These same people, as well as those in 
the mountains of North Carolina, during the summer past pre- 
ferred living on the roots and sap of trees rather than receive 
provisions from the United States. Thousands, I have been 
informed, had no other food for weeks." 

For two years to the very last moment allowed them by 
the treaty they clung to their lands, and at last were removed 
only _by. military Jfoce._jTn May, 1838, General 'Stfott-ivas-or^ 
dered to go with a sufficient military force to compel the re- 
moval. His proclamation "to the Cherokee people remaining in 
North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama" opens thus : 

" CHEROKEES, The President of the United States has sent 
me with a powerful army to cause you, in obedience to the 
treaty of 1835, to join that part of your people who are al- 
ready established on the other side of the Mississippi Unhap- 
pily the two years which were allowed for the purpose you 
have suffered to pass away without following, and without mak- 
ing any preparation to follow ; and now, or by the time that 
this solemn address shall reach your distant , settlements, the 
emigration must be commenced in haste, but I hope without 
disorder. I have no power, by granting a further delay, to 
correct the error that you have committed. The full-moon of 
May is already on the wane, and before another shall have 
passed away every Cherokee man, woman, and child in those 
States -must be in motion to join their brethren in the West" 

The tone of this proclamation, at once firm and kindly, could 
not fail to profoundly impress the unfortunate people to whom 



nent home for themselves and their posterity in the country 
selected by their forefathers without the territorial limits of 
the State sovereignties, and where they can establish and enjoy 
a government of their choice, and perpetuate such a state of 
society as may be most consonant with their views, habits, and 
condition, and as may tend to their individual comfort and 
their advancement in civilization." 

By this treaty the Cherokees gave up a country " larger than 
the three States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connec- 
ticut combined, and received therefor five millions of dollars 
and seven millions of acres of land west of the Mississippi." 
This the United States " guaranteed, and secured to be convey- 
ed in patent," and defined it by exact boundaries ; and, " in ad- 
dition to the seven millions of acres of land thus provided for 
and bounded," the United States did "further guarantee to 
the Cherokee nation a perpetual outlet west, and a free and un- 
molested use of all the country west of the western boundary 
of said seven millions of acres, as far west as the sovereignty 
of the United States and their rights of soil extend." 

The fifth Article of this treaty is, "The United States here- 
by covenant and agree that the lands ceded to the Cherokee 
nation in the foregoing article shall in no future time, without 
their consent, be included within the territorial limits or juris- 
diction of any State or Territory." 

In the sixth Article is this promise: "The United States 
agree to protect the Cherokee nation from domestic strife and 
foreign enemies, and against intestine wars between the sev- 
eral tribes." 

Even after this treaty was made a great part of the nation 
refused to sanction it, saying that it did not represent their 
wish ; they would never carry it out ; hundreds refused to re- 
ceive any longer either money or supplies from the United 
States agents, lest they should be considered to have thereby 
committed themselves to the treaty. 


In 183? General Wool wrote from the Cherokee country 
fchat the people " uniformly declare that they never made the 
treaty in question. * * * So determined are they in their oppo- 
sition that not one of all those who were present, and voted in 
the council held but a day or two since at this place, however 
poor or destitute, would receive either rations or clothing from 
the United States, lest they might compromise themselves in 
regard to the treaty. These same people, as well as those in 
the mountains of North Carolina, during the summer past pre- 
ferred living on the roots and sap of trees rather than receive 
provisions from the United States. Thousands, I have been 
informed, had no other food for weeks." 

For two years to the very last moment allowed them by 
the treaty they clung to their lands, and at last were removed 
only by militarjjforce._j[n May, 1838, Grenefal^Scott"was-or^ 
dered to go with a sufficient military force to compel the re- 
moval. His proclamation "to the Cherokee people remaining in 
North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama" opens thus: 

" CHEROKEES, The President of the United States has sent 
me with a powerful army to cause you, in obedience to the 
treaty of 1835, to join that part of your people who are al- 
ready established on the other side of the Mississippi. Unhap- 
pily the two years which were allowed for the purpose you 
have suffered to pass away without following, and without mak- 
ing any preparation to follow ; and now, or by the time that 
this solemn address shall reach your distant . settlements, the 
emigration must be commenced in haste, but I hope without 
disorder. I have no power, by granting a further delay, to 
correct the error that you have committed. The full-moon of 
May is already on the wane, and before another shall have 
passed away every Cherokee man, woman, and child in those 
States -must be in motion to join their brethren in the West" 

The tone of this proclamation, at once firm and kindly, could 
not fail to profoundly impress the unfortunate people to whom 



it was addressed " My troops," said the humane and sympa< 
thizing general, " already occupy many positions in the country 
that you are to abandon, and thousands and thousands are ap- 
proaching from every quarter, to render resistance and escape 
alike hopeless. All those troops, regular and militia, are your 
friends. Eeceive them and confide in them as such; obey 
them when they tell you that you can remain no longer in this 
country. Soldiers are as kind-hearted as brave, and the desire 
of every one of us is to execute our painful duty in mercy. * * * 

"Chiefs, headmen, and warriors, will you then, by resistance, 
compel us to resort to arms? God forbid. Or will you by 
flight seek to hide yourselves in mountains and forests, and 
thus oblige us to hunt you down? Eemember that in pur- 
suit it may be impossible to avoid conflicts. The blood of the 
white man or the blood of the red man may be spilt; and if 
spilt, however accidentally, it may be impossible for the dis- 
creet and humane among you or among us to prevent a general 
war and carnage. Think of this, my Cherokee brethren 1 I 
am an old warrior, and have been present at many a scene of 
slaughter ; but spare me, I beseech you, the horror of witness- 
ing the destruction of the Cherokees. Do not even wait for 
the close approach of the troops, but make such preparations 
for emigration as you can, and hasten to this place, to Ross's 
Landing, or to G-uinter's Landing, where you will be received 
in kindness by officers selected for the purpose. * * * This is 
the address of a warrior to warriors. May its entreaties be 
kindly received, and may the God of both prosper the Ameri- 
cans and Cherokees, and preserve them long in peace and 
friendship with each other." 

The reply of the council of the Cherokee nation to this proc- 
lamation is worthy to be put on record. They make no fur- 
ther protest against going; they simply ask the privilege of 
undertaking the whole charge of the removal themselves. They 
say : " The present condition of the Cherokee people is such 


that all dispute as to the time of emigration is set at rest. Be- 
ing already severed from their homes and their property, their 
persons being under the absolute control of the commanding 
general, and being altogether dependent on the benevolence 
and humanity of that high officer for the suspension of their 
transportation to the West at a season and under circumstances 
in which sickness and death were to be apprehended to an 
alarming extent, all inducements to prolong their stay in this 
country are taken away. And however strong their attachment 
to the homes of their fathers may be, their interests and their 
wishes are now to depart as early as may be consistent with 
their safety." 

The council therefore submitted to General Scott several 
propositions: 1st. "That the Cherokee nation will undertake 
the whole business of removing their people to the west of the 
river Mississippi." Their estimates of cost, and arrangement 
as to time, intervals, etc., were wise and reasonable. To their 
estimate of $65,880 as the cost for every thousand persons 
transported General Scott objected, thinking it high. He said 
that he was " confident " that it would be found that out of 
every thousand there would be "at least five hundred strong 
men, women, boys, and girls not only capable of marching 
twelve or fifteen miles a day, but to whom the exercise would 
be beneficial; and another hundred able to go on foot half 
that distance daily." He also objected to the estimate of the 
ration at sixteen cents as too high. 

The council replied that they believed the estimate reason- 
able, " having the comfortable removal of our people solely in 
view, and endeavoring to be governed, as far as that object will 
allow, by the rates of expenditure fixed by the officers of the 
Government. After the necessary bedding, cooking- utensils, 
and other indispensable articles of twenty persons say, four or 
five families are placed in a wagon, with subsistence for at least 
two days, the weight already will be enough to exclude, in our 


opinion, more than a very few persons being hauled. The 
great distance to be travelled, liability to sickness on the way 
of grown persons, and the desire of performing the trip in as 
short a time as possible, induce us still to think our estimate of 
that item not extravagant. * * * Whatever may be necessary in 
the emigration of our people to their comfort on the way, and 
as conducive to their health, we desire to be afforded them ; at 
the same time it is our anxious wish, in the management of 
this business, to be free at all times from the imputation of ex- 
travagance." They added that the item of soap had been for- 
gotten in their first estimate, and must now be included, at the 
rate of three pounds to every hundred pounds of rations. 

General Scott replied, " as the Cherokee people are exclusive- 
ly interested in the cost as well as the comfort of the removal," 
he did not feel himself at liberty to withhold his sanction from 
these estimates. In the report of the Indian Commissioner, 
also, it is stated that " the cost of removal, according to the 
Indian estimate, is high ;" but the commissioner adds, " as 
hheir own fund pays it, and it was insisted on by their own 
confidential agents, it was thought it could not be rejected." 

Noble liberality 1 This nation of eighteen thousand indus- 
trious, self-supporting people, compelled at the point of the 
.bayonet to leave their country and seek new homes in a wilder- 
ness, are to be permitted, as a favor, to spend on their jour- 
ney to this wilderness as much of their own money as they 
think necessary, and have all the soap they want. 

The record which the United States Government has left in 
oflBcial papers of its self-congratulations in the matter of this 
Cherokee removal has an element in it of the ludicrous, spite 
of the tragedy and shame. 

Says the Secretary of War : " The generous and enlightened 
policy evinced in the measures adopted by Congress toward 
that people during the last session was ably and judiciously 
carried into effect by the general appointed to conduct thcif 


removal. The reluctance of the Indians to relinquish the land 
of their birth in the East, and remove to their new homes in 
the West, was entirely overcome by the judicious conduct of 
that officer, and they departed with alacrity under the guidance 
of their own chiefs. The arrangements for this purpose made 
by General Scott, in compliance with his previous instructions, 
although somewhat costly to the Indians themselves, met the 
entire approbation of the Department, as it was deemed of the 
last importance that the Cherokees should remove to the West 
voluntarily, and that upon their arrival at the place of their 
ultimate destination they should recur to the manner in which 
they had been treated with kind and grateful feelings. Ha- 
manity no less than good policy dictated this course toward 
these children of the forest ; and in carrying out in this instance 
with an unwavering hand the measures resolved upon by the 
Government, in the hope of preserving the Indians and of main- 
taining the peace and tranquillity of the whites, it will always 
be gratifying to reflect that this has been effected not only 
without violence, but with every proper regard for the feelings 
and interests of that people." 

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs says, in his report: "The 
case of the Cherokees is a striking example of the liberality of 
the Government in all its branches. * * * A retrospect of the 
last eight months in reference to this numerous and more than 
ordinarily enlightened tribe cannot fail to be refreshing to well- 
constituted minds." 

A further appropriation had been asked by the Cherokee 
thiefs to meet the expense of their removal (they not thinking 
$5,000,000 a very munificent payment for a country as large 
as all Massachusetts, Ehode Island, and Connecticut together), 
and Congress had passed a law giving them $1147 67 more, 
and the commissioner says of this : " When it is considered 
that by the treaty of December, 1835, the sum of $5,000,000 
was stipulated to be paid them as the full value of their lands, 


after that amount was declared by the Senate of the United 
States to be an ample consideration for them, the spirit of this 
whole proceeding cannot be too much admired. By some the 
measure may be regarded as just ; by others generous : it per- 
haps partook of both attributes. If it went farther than na- 
ked justice could have demanded, it did not stop short of what 
liberality approved. * * * If our acts have been generous, they 
have not been less wise and politic. A large mass of men have 
been conciliated; the hazard of an effusion of human blood 
has been put by ; good feeling has been preserved, and we have 
quietly and gently transported eighteen thousand friends to the 
west bank of the Mississippi." 

To dwell on the picture of this removal is needless. The 
fact by itself is more eloquent than pages of detail and de- 
scription could make it. No imagination so dull, no heart so 
hard as not to see and to feel, at the bare mention of such an 
emigration, what horrors and what anguish it must have in- 
volved. "Eighteen thousand friends!" Only a great mag- 
nanimity of nature, strengthened by true Christian principle, 
could have prevented them from being changed into eighteen 
thousand bitter enemies. 

For some years after this removal fierce dissensions rent the 
Cherokee nation. The party who held that the treaty of 1835 
had been unfair, and that the nation still had an unextinguish- 
ed right to its old country at the East, felt, as was natural, a 
bitter hatred toward the party which, they claimed, had wrong- 
fully signed away the nation's lands. Several of the signers of 
the treaty, influential men of the nation, were murdered. Par- 
ty-spirit ran to such a height that the United States Govern- 
ment was compelled to interfere ; and in 1846, after long nego- 
tiations and dissensions, a new treaty was made, by the terms 
and concessions of which the anti-treaty party were appeased, 
a general amnesty provided for, and comparative harmony re* 
stored to the nation. 


The progress of this people in the ten years following this 
removal is almost past helief. In 1851 they had twenty-two 
primary schools, and had just built two large houses for a 
male and female seminary, in which the higher branches of 
education were to he taught. They had a temperance society 
with three thousand members, and an auxiliary society in each 
of the eight districts into which the country was divided. 
They had a Bible Society and twelve churches ; a weekly news- 
paper, partly in English, partly in Cherokee ; eight district 
courts, two circuit courts, and a supreme court. Legislative 
business was transacted as before by the national council and 
committee, elected for four years. Nearly one thousand boys 
and girls were in the public schools. 

In 1860 the agitation on the subject of slavery began to 
be felt, a strong antislavery party being organized in the na- 
tion. There were stormy scenes also in that part of the coun- 
try nearest the Kansas line. For several years white settlers 
had persisted in taking up farms there, and the Cherokees had 
in vain implored the Government to drive them away. The 
officer at last sent to enforce the Cherokees' rights and dislodge 
the squatters was obliged to burn their cabins over their heads 
before they would stir, so persuaded were they of the superior 
right of the white man over the Indian. " The only reason 
the settlers gave for not heeding the notices was that they had 
been often notified before to quit the reservation ; and, no steps 
having been taken to enforce obedience, they supposed they 
would be allowed to remain with like security in this instance." 

" It is surprising," says the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
"to see the growing disposition on the part of our citizens to 
wholly disregard our treaty obligations with Indian tribes with- 
in our borders ; and it is to be hoped that in future their rights 
will be held more sacred, or that the Government will in every 
instance promptly see that they are observed and respected." 

In the first year of the Civil War a large number of the 


Cherokees took up arms on the rebel side. That this was not 
from any love or liking for the Southern cause, it would seem, 
must be evident to any one who believed that they were 
possessed of memories. The opportunity of fighting against 
Georgians could not but have been welcome to the soul of a 
Cherokee, even if he bought it at the price of fighting on the 
side of the government which had been so perfidious to his na- 
tion. Their defection was no doubt largely due to terror. The 
forts in their vicinity were surrendered to the rebels ; all United 
States troops were withdrawn from that part of the country. 
They had no prospect of protection from the Government, and, 
as if to leave them without one incentive to loyalty, the Gov- 
ernment suspended the payment of their annuities. 

The Confederate Government stepped in, artfully promising 
to pay what the Northern Government refused. It would have 
taken a rare loyalty, indeed, to have stood unmoved in such, 
circumstances as these ; yet thousands of the Indians in Indian 
Territory did remain loyal, and fled for their lives to avoid be- 
ing pressed into the rebel service ; almost half of the Creek 
nation, many Seminoles, Chickasaws, Quapaws, Cherokees, and 
half a dozen others over six thousand in all fled to Kansas, 
where their sufferings in the winter of 1862 were heart-rending. 

That the Cherokees did not lightly abandon their allegiance 
is on record in the official history of the Department of the 
Interior. The Report of the Indian Bureau for 1863 says: 
"The Cherokees, prior to the Rebellion, were the most numer- 
ous, intelligent, wealthy, and influential tribe of this superin- 
tendency (the southern). For many months they steadily re- 
sisted the efforts made by the rebels to induce them to abandon 
their allegiance to the Federal Government ; but being wholly 
unprotected, and without the means of resistance, they were 
finally compelled to enter into treaty stipulations with the rebel 
authorities. This connection was, however, of short duration, 
for upon the first appearance of United States forces in their 


country an entire regiment of Indian troops, raised ostensibly 
for service in the rebel army, deserted and came over to us, 
and have ever since been under our command, and upon all oc- 
casions have proved themselves faithful and efficient soldiers." 
In the course of the next year, however, many more joined the 
rebels: it was estimated that between six and seven thousand 
of the wealthier portion of the nation co-operated in one way 
or another with the rebels. The result was that at the end of 
the war the Cherokee country was ruined. 

" In the Cherokee country," says the Report of the Indian 
Bureau for 1865, "where the contending armies have moved 
to and fro; where their foraging parties have gone at will, 
sparing neither friend nor foe; where the disloyal Cherokees 
in the service of the rebel government were determined that 
no trace of the homesteads of their loyal brethren should re- 
main for their return ; and where the swindling cattle-thieves 
have made their ill-gotten gains for two years past, the scene 
is one of utter desolation." 

The party feeling between the loyal and disloyal Cherokees 
ran as high as it did between the loyal and disloyal whites, and 
it looked for a time as if it would be as impossible to make 
the two opposing parties in the Cherokee nation agree to live 
peaceably side by side with each other, as it would to make dis- 
charged soldiers from Georgia and from Maine settle down in 
one village together. But after long and troublesome negotia- 
tions a treaty was concluded in 1866, by which all the neces- 
sary points seemed to be established of a general amnesty and 

That the Indians were at a great disadvantage in the making 
of these new treaties it is unnecessary to state. The peculiarity 
of the Government's view of their situation and rights is most 
naively stated in one of the reports for 1862. Alluding to the 
necessity of making at no very distant time new treaties with 
all these Southern tribes, one of the Indian superintendents 


says : " While the rebelling of a large portion of most of these 
tribes abrogates treaty obligations, and places them at our 
mercy, the very important fact should not be forgotten that 
the Government first wholly failed to keep its treaty stipula- 
tions with those people, and in protecting them, by withdraw- 
ing all the troops from the forts in Indian Territory, and leav- 
ing them at the mercy of the rebels. It is a \vell-kno\vn fact 
that self-preservation in many instances compelled them to 
make the best terms they could with the rebels." 

Nevertheless they are " at our mercy," because their making 
the "best terms they could with the rebels abrogates treaty 
obligations." The trite old proverb about the poorness of rules 
that do not work both ways seems to be applicable here. 

With a recuperative power far in advance of that shown by 
any of the small white communities at the South, the Chero- 
kees at once addressed themselves to rebuilding their homes 
and reconstructing their national life. In one year they estab- 
lished fifteen new schools, set all their old industries going, and 
in 1869 held a large agricultural fair, which gave a creditable 
exhibition of stock and farm produce. Thus a second time 
they recovered themselves, after what would seem to be well- 
nigh their destruction as a people. But the Indian's fate of 
perpetual insecurity, alarm, and unrest does not abandon them,. 
In 1870 they are said to be "extremely uneasy about the se- 
curity of their possession of the lands they occupy." "When 
asked why their high-schools are not re-established, reforms in- 
troduced into the administration of justice, desirable improve- 
ments undertaken, the reply inevitably comes, " We expect to 
have our lands taken away : what is the use of all that when 
our doom as a nation is sealed ?" 

" Distrust is firmly seated in their minds. National apathy 
depresses them, and until they realize a feeling of assurance 
that their title to their lands will be respected, and that treaties 
are an inviolable law for all parties, the Cherokees will not 


make the efforts for national progress of which they are ca- 

When their delegates went to Washington, in 1866, to mate 
the new treaty, they were alarmed by the position taken by 
the Government that the nation, as a nation, had forfeited its 
rights. They were given to understand that " public opinion 
held them responsible for complicity in the Rebellion ; and, al- 
though they could point to the fact that the only countenance 
the rebels received came from less than one-third of the popu- 
lation, and cite the services of two Cherokee regiments in the 
Union cause, it was urged home to them that, before being re- 
habilitated in their former rights by a new treaty, they were 
not in a position to refuse any conditions imposed. Such lan- 
guage from persons they believed to possess the power of in- 
juring their people intimidated the Cherokee delegates. They 
sold a large tract in South-eastern Kansas at a dollar an acre 
to an association of speculators, and it went into the possession 
of a railroad company. They also acceded, against the wishes 
of the Cherokee people, to a provision in the treaty granting 
right of way through the country for two railroads. This ex- 
cited great uneasiness among the Indians." 

And well it might. The events of the next few years am- 
ply justified this uneasiness. The rapacity of railroad corpora- 
tions is as insatiable as their methods are unscrupulous. The 
phrase " extinguishing Indian titles " has become, as it were, 
a mere technical term in the transfer of lands. The ex- 
pression is so common that it has probably been one of the 
agencies in fixing in the minds of the people the prevalent im- 
pression that extinction is the ultimate and inevitable fate of 
the Indian ; and this being the case, methods and times are 
not, after all, of so much consequence ; they are merely fore- 
ordained conditions of the great foreordained progression of 
events. This is the only explanation of the unconscious inhu- 
manity of many good men's modes of thinking and speaking in 


regard to the Indians being driven from home after home, and 
robbed of tract after tract of their lands. 

In the Report of the Indian Bureau for 1875 is an account 
of a remnant of the Cherokee tribe in North Carolina : " They 
number not far from seventeen hundred, and there are proba- 
bly in other parts of North Carolina, and scattered through 
Georgia and Tennessee, between three and four hundred more. 
These Cherokees have had an eventful history. When the 
main portion of the tribe "was compelled to remove west of the 
Mississippi they fled to the. mountains, and have steadily re- 
fused to leave their homes. The proceeds of their lands, which 
were sold in accordance with a treaty with the main body of 
the Cherokees, have been mainly expended in the purchase of 
lands, and providing funds for the Western Cherokees. At 
various times previous to the year 1861 the agent for the 
Eastern Cherokees, at their request, purchased lands with their 
funds, upon which they might make their homes. These pur- 
chases, though probably made with good intent, carelessly left 
the title in their agent personally, and not in trust. By this 
neglect, when subsequently the agent became insolvent, all their 
lands were seized and sold for his debts. By special legislation 
of Congress their case has been brought before the courts of 
North Carolina, and their rights to a certain extent asserted, 
and they are enabled to maintain possession of their lands; 
and, by the use of their own funds in extinguishing liens, are 
now in possession of above seventy thousand acres of fair ara- 
ble, timber, and grazing lands. They have shown themselves 
capable of self-support, and, I believe, have demonstrated the 
unwisdom of removing Indians from a country which offers 
to them a home, and where a white man could make a living. 
This is shown by the fact that they are now, though receiving 
scarcely any Government aid, in a more hopeful condition, 
both as to morals, and industry, and personal property, than 
the Cherokees who removed West." 


The Eeport of the Indian Bureau for 1876 fully bears out 
this statement. The North Carolina Cherokees have, indeed, 
reason to be in a more hopeful condition, for they have their 
lands secured to them by patent, confirmed by a decision of 
State courts ; but this is what the Department of the Interior 
has brought itself to say as to the Western Cherokees' lands, 
and those of all other civilized tribes in the Indian Territory : 
" By treaty the Government has ceded to the so-called civilized 
tribes the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Sem- 
inoles a section of country altogether disproportionate in 
amount to their needs. * * * The amount susceptible of cultiva- 
tion must be many-fold greater than can ever be cultivated by 
the labor of the Indians. But the Indians claim, it is under- 
stood, that they hold their lands by sanctions so solemn that it 
would be a gross breach of faith on the part of the Govern- 
ment to take away any portion thereof without their consent ; 
and that consent they apparently propose to withhold." 

Let us set side by side with this last paragraph a quotation 
from the treaty by virtue of which " the Indians claim, it is 
understood, that they hold " these lands, which they now " ap- 
parently propose to withhold." "We will not copy it from the 
original treaty ; we will copy it, and a few other sentences with 
it, from an earlier report of this same Department of the In- 
terior. Only so far back as 1870 we find the Department in a 
juster frame of mind toward the Cherokees. " A large part of 
the Indian tribes hold lands to which they are. only fixed by 
laws that define the reservations to which they shall be con- 
fined. It cannot be denied that these are in a great measure 
dependent on the humanity of the American people. * * * But 
the Cherokees, and the other civilized Indian nations no less, 
hold lands in perpetuity by titles defined by the supreme law 
of the land. The United States agreed ' to possess the Chero- 
kees, and to guarantee it to them forever,' and that guarantee 
* was solemnly pledged of seven million acres of land.' The 


consideration for this territory was the same number of acres 
elsewhere located. The inducement to the bargain set forth in 
the treaty was * the anxious desire of the Government of the 
United States to secure to the Cherokee nation of Indians a 
permanent home, and which shall, under the most solemn guar- 
antee of the United States, be and remain theirs forever a 
home that shall never in all future time be embarrassed by hav- 
ing extended around it the lines or placed over it the jurisdic- 
tion of a Territory or State, or be pressed upon by the exten- 
sion in any way of the limits of any existing State.' To assure 
them of their title, a patent for the Territory was issued." 

This was the view of the Department of the Interior in 1870. 
In 1876 the Department says that affairs in the Indian Terri- 
tory are " complicated and embarrassing, and the question is 
directly raised whether an extensive section of country is to be 
allowed to remain for an indefinite period practically an uncul- 
tivated waste, or whether the Government shall determine to 
reduce the size of the reservation." 

The phrase "whether the Government shall determine to 
reduce the size of the reservation " sounds much better than 
" whether the Government shall rob the Indians of a few mill- 
ions of acres of land ;" but the latter phrase is truth, and the 
other is the spirit of lying. 

The commissioner says that the question is a difficult one, 
and should be " considered with calmness, and a full purpose 
to do no injustice to the Indians." He gives his own personal 
opinion on it " with hesitancy," but gives it nevertheless, that 
" public policy will soon require the disposal of a large portion 
of these lands to the Government for the occupancy either of 
other tribes of Indians or of white people. There is a very 
general and growing opinion that observance of the strict letter 
of treaties with Indians is in many cases at variance with their 
own best interests and with sound public policy." He adds, 
however, that it must not be understood from this recommen- 


dation that it is " the policy or purpose of tliis office to in any 
way encourage the spirit of rapacity which demands the throw- 
ing open of the Indian Territory to white settlement." He 
says, " the true way to secure its perpetual occupancy by In- 
dians is to fill it up with other Indians, to give them lands in 
severalty, and to provide a government strong and intelligent 
enough to protect them effectually from any and all encroach- 
ments on the part of the whites." 

Comment on these preposterously contradictory sentences 
would be idle. The best comment on them, and the most fit- 
ting close to this sketch of the Cherokee nation, is in a few 
more quotations from the official reports of the Indian Bureau. 

Of this people, from whom the Department of the Interior 
proposes, for "public policy," to take away "a large portion" 
of their country, it has published within the last three years 
these records : 

" It has been but a few years since the Cherokees assembled 
in council under trees or in a rude log-house, with hewed logs 
for seats. Now the legislature assembles in a spacious brick 
council-house, provided with suitable committee-rooms, senate 
chamber, representative hall, library, and executive offices, which 
cost $22,000. 

" Their citizens occupy neat hewed double log-cabins, frame, 
brick, or stone houses, according to the means or taste of the , 
individual, with ground adorned by ornamental trees, shrub- 
bery, flowers, and nearly every improvement, including or- 
chards of the choicest fruits. Some of these orchards have 
existed for nearly twenty years, and are now in a good, fruitful 
condition. Their women are usually good house-keepers, and 
give great attention to spinning and weaving yarns, jeans, and 
linsey, and make most of the pants and hunter-jackets of the 
men and boys. The farmers raise most of their own wool and 
cotton, and it is not an uncommon sight, in a well-to-do Chero- 
kee farmer's house, to see a sewing-machine and a piano. 


" They have ample provision for the education of all thcii 
children to a degree of advancement equal to that furnished 
by an ordinary college in the States. They have seventy-five 
common day-schools, kept open ten months in the year, in the 
different settlements. For the higher education of their young 
men and women they have two commodious and well-furnished 
seminaries, one for each sex ; and, in addition to those already 
mentioned, they have a manual labor school and an orphan 
asylum. The cost of maintaining these schools the past year 
(1877) was, as reported by the superintendent of public in- 
struction, $73,441 65, of which $41,475 was paid as salary to 

" They have twenty-four stores, twenty-two mills, and sixty- 
five smith-shops, owned and conducted by their own citizens. 

"Their constitution and laws are published in book form; 
and from their printing-house goes forth among the people in 
their own language, and also in English, the Cherokee Advo- 
cate, a weekly paper, which is edited with taste and ability. 

" They have (and this is true also of the Choctaws, Creeks, 
Chickasaws, and Seminoles) a constitutional government, with 
legislative, judicial, and executive departments, and conducted 
upon the same plan as our State governments, the entire ex- 
penses of which are paid out of their own funds, which are de- 
rived from interest on various stocks and bonds the invested 
proceeds of the sale of their lands, and held in trust by the 
Government of the United States which interest is paid the 
treasurers of the different nations semi-annually, and by them 
disbursed on national warrants issued by the principal chief 
and secretary, and registered by the auditors. 

" They are an intelligent, temperate, and industrious people, 
who live by the honest fruits of their labor, and seem ambi- 
tious to advance both as to the development of their lands and 
the conveniences of their homes. In their council may be 
found men of learning and ability; and it is doubtful if their 


rapid progress from a state of -wild barbarism to that of civili- 
zation and enliglitenment has any parallel in the history of the 
world. What required five hundred years for the Britons to 
accomplish in this direction they have accomplished in one hun- 
dred years." 

Will the United States Government determine to "reduce 
the size of the reservation ?" 





I. The Conestoga Massacre. 

WHEN the English first entered Pennsylvania messengers 
from the Conestoga Indians met them, bidding them welcome, 
and bringing gifts of corn and venison and skins. The whole 
tribe entered into a treaty of friendship with William Penn, 
which was to last "as long as the sun should shine or the 
waters run into the rivers." 

The records of Pennsylvania history in the beginning of the 
eighteenth century contain frequent mention of the tribe. In 
1*705 the governor sent the secretary of his council, with a del- 
egation of ten men, to hold an interview with them at Cones- 
toga, for purposes of mutual understanding and confidence. 
And in that same year Thomas Chalkley, a famous Quaker 
preacher, while sojourning among the Maryland Quakers, was 
suddenly seized with so great a "concern" to visit these In- 
dians that he laid the matter before the elders at the Notting- 
ham meeting ; and, the idea being " promoted " by the elders, 
he set off with an interpreter and a party of fourteen to make 
the journey. He says: "We travelled through the woods 
about fifty miles, carrying our provisions with us ; and on the 
journey sat down by a river and spread our food on the grass, 
and refreshed ourselves and horses, and then went on cheer- 
fully and with good-will and much love to the poor Indians. 
And when we came they received us kindly, treating us civilly 
in their way. We treated about having a meeting with them 
in a religious way ; upon which they called a council, in which 


they were very grave, and spoke, one after another, without 
any heat or jarring. Some of the most esteemed of their 
women speak in their councils." 

When asked why they suffered the women to speak, they 
replied that "some women were wiser than some men." It 
was said that they had not for many years done anything with- 
out the advice of a certain aged and grave woman, who was al- 
ways present at their councils. The interpreter said that she 
was an empress, and that they gave much heed to what she 
said. This wise queen of Conestoga looked with great favor 
on the Quakers, the interpreter said, because they " did not 
come to buy or sell, or get gain ;" but came " in love and re- 
spect " to them, " and desired their well-doing, both here and 
hereafter." Two nations at this time were represented in this 
Conestoga band the Senecas and the Shawanese. 

The next year the governor himself, anxious to preserve 
their inalienable good-will, and to prevent their being seduced 
by emissaries from the French, went himself to visit them. 
On this occasion one of the chiefs made a speech, still pre- 
served in the old records, which contains this passage : " Father, 
we love quiet ; we suffer the mouse to play ; when the woods 
are rustled by the wind, we fear not; when the leaves are dis- 
turbed in ambush, we are uneasy ; when a cloud obscures your 
brilliant sun, our eyes feel dim ; but when the rays appear, they 
give great heat to the body and joy to the heart. Treachery 
darkens the chain of friendship ; but truth makes it brighter 
than ever. This is the peace we desire." 

A few years later a Swedish missionary visited them, and 
preached them a sermon on original sin and the necessity of a 
mediator. When he had finished, an Indian chief rose and re- 
plied to him ; both discourses being given through an interpret- 
er. The Swede is said to have been so impressed with the In- 
dian's reasoning that, after returning to Sweden, he wrote out 
his own sermon and the Indian's reply in the best Latin at his 


command, and dedicated the documents to the University of 
Upsal, respectfully requesting them to furnish him with some 
arguments strong enough to confute the strong reasonings of 
this savage. 

"Our forefathers," said the chief, "were under a strong 
persuasion (as we are) that those who act well in this life will 
be rewarded in the next according to the degrees of their vir* 
tues ; and, on the other hand, that those who behave wicked- 
ly here will undergo such punishments hereafter as were pro- 
portionate to the crimes they were guilty of. This has been 
constantly and invariably received and acknowledged for a 
truth through every successive generation of our ancestors. It 
could not, then, have taken its rise from fable ; for human fic- 
tion, however artfully and plausibly contrived, can never gain 
credit long among people where free inquiry is allowed, which 
was never denied by our ancestors. * * * Now we desire to pro- 
pose some questions. Does he believe that our forefathers, 
men eminent for their piety, constant and warm in their pur- 
suit of virtue, hoping thereby to merit eternal happiness, were 
all damned ? Does he think that we who are zealous imitators 
in good works, and influenced by the same motives as we are, 
earnestly endeavoring with the greatest circumspection to tread 
the path of integrity, are in a state of damnation ? If that be his 
sentiment, it is surely as impious as it is bold and daring. * * * 
Let us suppose that some heinous crimes were committed by 
some of our ancestors, like to that we are told of another 
race of people. In such a case God would certainly punish 
the criminal, but would never involve us that are innocent in 
the guilt. Those who think otherwise must make the Al- 
mighty a very whimsical, evil-natured being. * * * Once more : 
are the Christians more virtuous, or, rather, are they not more 
vicious than we are ? If so, how came it to pass that they 
are the objects of God's beneficence, while we are neglected 1 
Does he daily confer his favors without reason and with so 


much partiality ? In a word, we find the Christians much 
more depraved in their morals than we are ; and we judge 
from their doctrine by the badness of their lives." 

It is plain that this Indian chief's speech was very much 
Latinized in the good Swede's hands ; but if the words even 
approached being a true presentation of what he said, it is 
wonderful indeed. 

In 1721 His Excellency Sir William Keith, Bart., Governor 
of the Province of Pennsylvania, went with an escort of eighty 
horsemen to Conestoga, and spent several days in making a 
treaty with the representatives of the Five Nations, " the In- 
dians of Conestoga and their friends." He was entertained at 
" Captain Civility's cabin." When he left them, he desired 
them to give his " very kind love and the love of all our peo- 
ple to your kings and to all their people." He invited them 
to visit him in Philadelphia, saying, " We can provide better for 
you and make you more welcome. People always receive their 
friends best at their own homes." He then took out a corona- 
tion medal of the King, and presented it to the Indian in these 
words : " That our children when we are dead may not forget 
these things, but keep this treaty between us in perpetual re- 
membrance, I here deliver to you a picture in gold, bearing the 
image of my great master, the King of all the English. And 
when you return home, I charge you to deliver this piece into 
the hands of the first man or greatest chief of all the Five Na- 
tions, whom you call Kannygoodk, to be laid up and kept as 
a token to our children's children that an entire and lasting 
friendship is now established forever between the English in 
this country and the great Five Nations." 

At this time the village of Conestoga was described as lying 
" about seventy miles west of Philadelphia. The land therea- 
bout being exceeding rich, it is now surrounded with divers fine 
plantations and farms, where they raise quantities of wheat, 
barley, flax, and hemp, without the help of any dung," 


The next year, also, was marked by a council of great sig- 
nificance at Conestoga. In the spring of this year an Indian 
called Saanteenee had been killed by two white men, brothers, 
named Cartledge. At this time it was not only politic but 
necessary for the English to keep on good terms with as many 
Indians as possible. Therefore, the old record says, " Policy 
and justice required a rigid inquiry " into this affair, and the 
infliction of " exemplary punishment." 

Accordingly, the Cartledges were arrested and confined in 
Philadelphia, and the high-sheriff of Chester County went, with 
two influential men of the province, to Conestoga, to confei' 
with the Indians as to what should be done with them. The 
Indians were unwilling to decide the matter without advice 
from the Five Nations, to whom they owed allegiance. A 
swift runner (Satcheecho) was, therefore, sent northward with 
the news of the occurrence ; and the governor, with two of his 
council, went to Albany to hear what the Five Nations had to 
say about it What an inconceivable spectacle to us to-day : 
the governments of Pennsylvania and New York so fully rec- 
ognizing an Indian to be a " person," and his murder a thing 
to be anxiously and swiftly atoned for if possible ! 

Only a little more than a hundred and fifty years lie between 
this murder of Saanteenee in Conestoga and the murder of Big 
Snake on the Ponca Reservation in 1880. Verily, Policy has 
kept a large assortment of spectacles for Justice to look through 
in a surprising short space of time. 

On the decision of the king and chiefs of the Five Nations 
hung the fate of the murderers. Doubtless the brothers Cart- 
ledge made up their minds to die. The known principles of 
the Indians in the matter of avenging injuries certainly left 
them little room for hope. But no ! The Five Nations took 
a different view. They "desired that the Cartledges should 
not suffer death, and the affair was at length amicably settled," 
says the old record. "One life," said the Indian king, "on 


this occasion, is enough to be lost. There should not two 

This was in 1722. In 1763 there were only twenty of these 
Conestoga Indians left seven men, five women, and eight chil- 
dren. They were still living in their village on the Shawanee 
Creek, their lands being assured to them by manorial gift ; but 
they were miserably poor earned by making brooms, baskets, 
and wooden bowls a part of their living, and begged the rest 
They were wholly peaceable and unoffending, friendly to their 
white neighbors, and pitifully clinging and affectionate, naming 
their children after whites who were kind to them, and striving 
in every way to show their gratitude and good-will 

Upon this little community a band of wbite men, said by 
some of the old records to be " Presbyterians," from Paxton, 
made an attack at daybreak on the 14th of December. They 
found only six of the Indians at home three men, two women, 
and a boy. The rest were away, either at work for the white 
farmers or selling their little wares. " These poor defenceless 
creatures were immediately fired upon, stabbed, and hatcheted 
to death ; the good Shebaes, among the rest, cut to pieces in his 
bed. All of them were scalped and otherwise horribly mangled, 
then their huts were set on fire, and most of them burnt down." 

" Shebaes was a very old man, having assisted at the second 
treaty held with Mr.Penn, in 1701, and ever since continued a 
faithful friend to the English. He is said to have been an ex- 
ceeding good man, considering his education ; being naturally 
of a most kind, benevolent temper." 

From a manuscript journal kept at this time, and belonging 
to the great-granddaughter of Eobert Barber, the first settler in 
Lancaster County, are gathered the few details known of this 
massacre. "Some of the murderers went directly from the 
scene of their crime to Mr. Barber's house. They were stran- 
gers to him ; but, with the hospitality of those days, he made 
a fire for them and set refreshments before them. 


"While they warmed themselves, they inquired why the 
Indians were suffered to live peaceably here. Mr. Barber said 
they were entirely inoffensive, living on their own lands and 
injuring no one. They asked what would be the consequence 
if they were all destroyed. Mr. Barber said he thought they 
would be as liable to punishment as if they had destroyed so 
many white men. They said they were of a different opinion, 
and in a few minutes went out. In the mean time two sons of 
Mr. Barber's, about ten or twelve years old, went out to look 
at the strangers' horses, which were hitched at a little distance 
from the house. 

"After the men went the boys came in, and said that they 
had tomahawks tied to their saddles which were all bloody, 
and that they had Christy's gun. Christy was a little Indian 
boy about their own age. They were much attached to him, 
as he was their playmate, and made bows and arrows for 

While the family were talking over this, and wondering 
what it could mean, a messenger came running breathless to 
inform them of what had happened. Mr. Barber went at once 
to the spot, and there he found the murdered Indians lying 
in the smouldering ruins of their homes, " like half-consumed 
logs." He, " with some trouble, procured their bodies, to ad- 
minister to them the rights of sepulture." 

" It was said that at the beginning of the slaughter an In- 
dian mother placed her little child under a barrel, charging it 
to make no noise, and that a shot was fired through the barrel 
which broke the child's arm, and still it kept silent." 

The magistrates of Lancaster, shocked, as well they might 
be, at this frightful barbarity, sent messengers out immediately, 
and took the remaining Indians, wherever they were found, 
brought them into the town for protection, and lodged them 
in the newly-erected workhouse or jail, which was the strongest 
building in the place. The Governor of Pennsylvania issued a 


proclamation, ordering all judges, sheriffs, and " all His Hajes- 
ty's liege subjects in the province," to make every effort to 
apprehend the authors and perpetrators of this crime, also 
their abettors and accomplices. But the " Paxton Boys " held 
magistrates and governor alike in derision. Two weeks later 
they assembled again, fifty strong, rode to Lancaster, dismount- 
ed, broke open the doors of the jail, and killed every Indian 

" When the poor wretches saw they had no protection nigh, 
nor could possibly escape, and being without the least weapon 
of defence, they divided their little families, the children cling- 
ing to their parents. They fell on their faces, protested their 
innocence, declared their love to the English, and that in their 
whole lives they had never done them injury. And in this 
posture they all received the hatchet Men, women, and chil- 
dren were every one inhumanly murdered in cold blood. * * * 
The barbarous men who committed the atrocious act, in defi- 
ance of government, of all laws, human and divine, and to the 
eternal disgrace of their country and color, then mounted their 
horses, huzzaed in triumph, as if they had gained a victory, 
and rode off unmolested. * * * The bodies of the murdered 
were then brought out and exposed in the street till a hole 
could be made in the earth to receive and cover them. But 
the wickedness cannot be covered, and the guilt will lie on the 
whole land till justice is done on the murderers. The blood 
of the innocent will cry to Heaven for vengeance." 

These last extracts are from a pamphlet printed in Phila- 
delphia at the time of the massacre; printed anonymously, 
because "so much had fear seized the minds of the people" 
that neither the writer nor the printer dared to give " name or 
place of abode." 

There are also private letters still preserved which give ac- 
counts of the affair. A part of one from William Henry, of 
Lancaster, to a friend in Philadelphia, is given in " Eupp's His- 



tory of Lancaster County." He says, "A regiment of High- 
landers were at that time quartered at the barracks in the 
town, and yet these murderers were permitted to break open 
the doors of the city jail and commit the horrid deed. The 
first notice I had of the affair was that, while at my father's 
store near the court-house, I saw a number of people running 
down-street toward the jail, which enticed me and other lads 
to follow them. At about six or eight yards from the jail we 
met from twenty-five to thirty men, well mounted on horses, 
and with rifles, tomahawks, and scalping-knives, equipped fot 
murder. I ran into the prison-yard, and there, oh, what a hor- 
rid sight presented itself to my view ! Near the back door of 
the prison lay an old Indian and his squaw, particularly well 
known and esteemed by the people of the town on account of 
his placid and friendly conduct. His name was Will Soc. 
Around him and his squaw lay two children, about the age of 
three years, whose heads were split with the tomahawk and 
their scalps taken off. Toward the middle of the jail -yard, 
along the west side of the wall, lay a stout Indian, whom I par- 
ticularly noticed to have been shot in his breast. His legs 
were chopped with the tomahawk, his hands cut off, and finally 
a rifle-ball discharged in his mouth, so that his head was blown 
to atoms, and the brains were splashed against and yet hanging 
to the wall for three or four feet around. This man's hands 
and feet had been chopped off with a tomahawk. In this 
manner lay the whole of them men, women, and children 
spread about the prison-yard, shot, scalped, hacked, and cut to 

After this the Governor of Pennsylvania issued a second 
proclamation, still more stringent than the first, and offering a 
reward of $600 for the apprehension of any three of the 

But the "Paxton Boys" were now like wild beasts that had 
tasted blood. They threatened to attack the Quakers and all 


persons who sympathized with or protected Indians. They 
openly mocked and derided the governor and his proclama- 
tions, and set off at once for Philadelphia, announcing their 
intention of killing all the Moravian Indians who had been 
placed under the protection of the military there. 

Their march through the country was like that of a band of 
maniacs. In a private letter written by David Rittenhouse at 
this time, he says, "About fifty of these scoundrels marched by 
my workshop. I have seen hundreds of Indians travelling the 
country, and can with truth affirm that the behavior of these 
fellows was ten times more savage and brutal than theirs. 
Frightening women by running the muzzles of guns through 
windows, hallooing and swearing ; attacking men without the 
least provocation, dragging them by the hair to the ground, and 
pretending to scalp them ; shooting dogs and fowls : these are 
some of their exploits." 

It is almost past belief that at this time many people justi- 
fied these acts. An Episcopalian clergyman in Lancaster wrote 
vindicating them, "bringing Scripture to prove that it was 
right to destroy the heathen ;" and the " Presbyterians think 
they have a better justification nothing less than the Word 
of God," says one of the writers on the massacre. 

" With the Scriptures in their hands and mouths, they can 
set at naught that express command, * Thou shalt do no mur- 
der,' and justify their wickedness by the command given to 
Joshua to destroy the heathen. Horrid perversion of Script- 
ure and religion, to father the worst of crimes on the God of 
Love and Peace 1" It is a trite saying that history repeats it- 
self ; but it is impossible to read now these accounts of the 
massacres of defenceless and peaceable Indians in the middle 
of the eighteenth century, without the reflection that the rec- 
ord of the nineteenth is blackened by the same stains. What 
Pennsylvania pioneers did in 1763 to helpless and peaceable 
Indians of Conestoga, Colorado pioneers did in 1864 to help 


less and peaceable Cheyennes at Sand Creek, and have threat* 
ened to do again to helpless and peaceable Utes in 1880. The 
word " extermination " is as ready on the frontiersman's tongue 
to-day as it was a hundred years ago ; and the threat is more 
portentous now, seeing that we are, by a whole century of 
prosperity, stronger and more numerous, and the Indians are, 
by a whole century of suffering and oppression, fewer and 
weaker. But our crime is baser and our infamy deeper in the 
same proportion. 

Close upon this Conestoga massacre followed a " removal " 
of friendly Indians the earliest on record, and one whose 
cruelty and cost to the suffering Indians well entitle it to a 
place in a narrative of massacres. 

Everywhere in the provinces fanatics began to renew the 
old cry that the Indians were the Canaanites whom God ha<J 
commanded Joshua to destroy; and that these wars were a 
token of God's displeasure with the Europeans for permitting 
the "heathen" to live. Soon it became dangerous for a Mo- 
ravian Indian to be seen anywhere. In vain did he carry one 
of the Pennsylvania governor's passports in his pocket. He 
was liable to be shot at sight, with no time to pull his passport 
out. Even in the villages there was no safety. The devoted 
congregations watched and listened night and day, not know- 
ing at what hour they might hear the fatal warwhoop of hos- 
tile members of their own race, coming to slay them ; or the 
sudden shots of white settlers, coming to avenge on them out- 
rages committed by savages hundreds of miles away. 

With every report that arrived of Indian massacres at the 
North, the fury of the white people all over the country rose 
to greater height, including even Christian Indians in its un- 
reasoning hatred. But, in the pious language of a narrative 
written by one of the Moravian missionaries, "God inclined 
the hearts of the chief magistrates to protect them. Novem* 
ber 6th an express arrived from Philadelphia, bringing an or 


der that all the baptized Indians from Nam and Wcchquetank 
should be brought to Philadelphia, and be protected in that city, 
having first delivered up their arms." 

Two days later both these congregations set out on their sad 
journey, weeping as they left their homes. They joined forces 
at Bethlehem, on the banks of the Lecha, and "entered upon 
their pilgrimage in the name of the Lord, the congregation of 
Bethlehem standing spectators, and, as they passed, commend- 
ing them to the grace and protection of God, with supplica- 
tion and tears." 

Four of the Moravian missionaries were with them, and some 
of the brethren from Bethlehem accompanied them all the way, 
" the sheriff, Mr. Jennings, caring for them as a father." 

The aged, the sick, and the little children were carried in 
wagons. All the others, women and men, went on foot. The 
November rains had made the roads very heavy. As the wea- 
ry and heart-broken people toiled slowly along through the 
mud, they were saluted with curses and abuse on all sides. As 
they passed through the streets of Germantown a mob gather- 
ed and followed them, taunting them with violent threats of 
burning, hanging, and other tortures. It was said that a party 
had been organized to make a serious attack on them, but was 
deterred by the darkness and the storm. Four days were con- 
sumed in this tedious march, and on the llth of November 
they reached Philadelphia. Here, spite of the governor's pos- 
itive order, the officers in command at the barracks refused 
to allow them to enter. From ten in the forenoon till three 
in the afternoon there the helpless creatures stood before the 
shut gate messengers going back and forth between the 
defiant garrison and the bewildered and impotent governor; 
the mob, thickening and growing more and more riotous hour 
by hour, pressing the Indians on every side, jeering them, re- 
viling them, charging them with all manner of outrages, and 
threatening to kill them on the spot. The missionaries, brave- 


Iy standing beside their flock, in vain tried to stem or turn the 
torrent of insult and abuse. All that they accomplished was 
to draw down the same insult and abuse on their own heads. 

Nothing but the Indians' marvellous patience and silence 
saved them from being murdered by this exasperated mob. 
To the worst insults they made no reply, no attempt at retalia- 
tion or defence. They afterward said that they had comforted 
themselves " by considering what insult and mockery our Sav- 
iour had suffered on their account." 

At last, after five hours of this, the governor, unable to com- 
pel the garrison to open the barracks, sent an order that the 
Indians should be taken to Province Island, an island in the 
Delaware Eiver joined to the main-land by a dam. Six miles 
more, every mile in 'risk of their lives, the poor creatures walk- 
ed. As they passed again through the city, thousands fol- 
lowed them, the old record says, and " with such tumultuous 
clamor that they might truly be considered as sheep among 

Long after dark they reached the island, and were lodged in 
some unused buildings, large and comfortless. There they kept 
their vesper service, and took heart from the fact that the verse 
for the day was that verse of the beautiful thirty-second psalm 
which has comforted so many perplexed souls : " I will teach 
thee in the way thou shalt go." 

Here they settled themselves as best they could. The mis- 
sionaries had their usual meetings with them, and humane peo- 
ple from Philadelphia, " especially some of the people called 
Quakers," sent them provisions and fuel, and tried in various 
ways to "render the inconvenience of their situation less 

Before they had been here a month some of the villages 
they had left were burnt, and the riotous Paxton mob, which 
had murdered all the peaceful Conestogn, Indians, announced its 
intention of marching on Province Island and killing every In- 


dian there. The Governor of Pennsylvania launched procla- 
mation after proclamation, forbidding any one, under severest 
penalties, to molest the Indians under its protection, and offer- 
ing a reward of two hundred pounds for the apprehension of 
the ringleaders of the insurgents. But public sentiment was 
inflamed to such a degree that the Government was practi- 
cally powerless. The known ringleaders and their sympathiz- 
ers paraded contemptuously in front of the governor's house, 
mocking him derisively, and not even two hundred pounds 
would tempt any man to attack them. In many parts of Lan- 
caster County parties were organized with the avowed inten- 
tion of marching on Philadelphia and slaughtering all the In- 
dians under the protection of the Government. Late on the 
29th of December rumors reached Philadelphia that a large 
party of these rioters were on the road ; and the governor, at 
daybreak the next day, sent large boats to Province Island, 
with orders to the missionaries to put their people on board as 
quickly as possible, row to Leek Island, and await further or- 
ders. In confusion and terror the congregations obeyed, and 
fled to Leek Island. Later in the day came a second letter 
from the governor, telling them that the alarm had proved a 
false one. They might return to Province Island, where he 
would send them a guard ; and that they would better keep 
the boats, to be ready in case of a similar emergency. 

" They immediately returned with joy to their former habi- 
tation," says the old record, " comforted by the text for the 
day 'The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart 
trusted in him ' (Ps. xxviii., 7) and closed this remarkable 
year with prayer and thanksgiving for all the proofs of the 
help of God in so many heavy trials." 

Four days later the missionaries received a second order for 
instant departure. The reports of the murderous intentions of 
the rioters being confirmed, and the governor seeing only too 
clearly his own poweiiessness to contend with them, he had re- 


solved to send the Indians northward, and put them under the 
protection of the English army, and especially of Sir William 
Johnson, agent for the Crown among the Northern Indians. 
No time was to be lost in carrying out this plan, for at any mo- 
ment the mob might attack Province Island. Accordingly, at 
midnight of January 4th, the fugitives set out once more, pass- 
ed through Philadelphia, undiscovered, to the meeting-house 
of the Moravian Brethren, where a breakfast had been pro- 
vided for them, Here they were met by the commissary, Mr. 
Fox, who had be.en detailed by the governor to take charge of 
their journey. Mr. Fox, heart -stricken at their suffering ap- 
pearance, immediately sent out and bought blankets to be dis- 
tributed among them, as some protection against the cold. 
Wagons were brought for the aged, sick, blind, little children, 
and the heavy baggage ; and again the pitiful procession took 
up its march. Again an angry mob gathered fast on its steps, 
cursing and reviling in a terrible manner, only restrained by 
fear from laying violent hands on them. Except for the pro- 
tection of a military escort they would scarcely have escaped 
murderous assault. 

At Amboy two sloops lay ready to transport them to New 
York; but just as they reached this place, and were preparing 
to go on shore, a messenger arrived from the Governor of 
New York with angry orders that not an Indian should set 
foot in that territory. Even the ferry -men were forbidden, 
under heavy penalties, to ferry one across the river. 

The commissioner in charge of them, in great perplexity, 
sent to the Governor of Pennsylvania for further orders, plac- 
ing the Indians, meantime, in the Amboy barracks. Here they 
held their daily meetings, singing and praying with great unc- 
tion, un,til finally many of their enemies were won to a hearty 
respect and sympathy for them ; even soldiers being heard to 
say, " Would to God all the white people were as good Chris- 
tians as these Indians.' 9 


The Pennsylvania governor had nothing left him to do but 
to order the Indians back again, and, accordingly, says the 
record, "The Indian congregation set out with cheerfulness 
on their return, in full confidence that the Lord in his good 
providence, for wise purposes best known to himself, had or- 
dained their travelling thus to and fro. This belief supported 
them under all the difficulties they met with in their journeys 
made in the severest part of winter." 

They made the return journey under a large military escort, 
one party in advance and one bringing up the rear. This es- 
cort was composed of soldiers, who, having just coine from Ni- 
agara, where they had been engaged in many fights with the 
North-western savages, were at first disposed to treat these de- 
fenceless Indians with brutal cruelty ; but they were soon dis- 
armed by the Indians' gentle patience, and became cordial and 

The return journey was a hard one. The aged and infirm 
people had become much weakened by their repeated hardships, 
and the little children suffered pitiably. In crossing some of 
the frozen rivers the feeble ones were obliged to crawl on their 
hands and feet on the ice. 

On the 24th of January they reached Philadelphia, and were 
at once taken to the barracks, where almost immediately mobs 
began again to molest and threaten them. The governor, thor- 
oughly in earnest now, and determined to sustain his own honor 
and that of the province, had eight heavy pieces of cannon 
mounted and a rampart thrown up in front of the barracks. 
The citizens were called to arms, and so great was the excite- 
ment that it is said even Quakers took guns and hurried to the 
barracks to defend the Indians ; and the governor himself went 
at midnight to visit them, and reassure them by promises of pro- 

On February 4th news was received that the rioters in large 
force were approaching the city. Hearing of the preparations 


made to receive them, they did not venture to enter. On the 
night of the 5th, however, they drew near again. The whole 
city was roused, church -bells rung, bonfires lighted, cannon 
fired, the inhabitants waked from their sleep and ordered to 
the town-house, where arms were given to all. Four more can- 
non -were mounted at the barracks, and all that day was spent 
in hourly expectation of the rebels. But their brave boasts 
were not followed up by action. Seeing that the city was in 
arms against them, they halted. The governor then sent a dele- 
gation of citizens to ask them what they wanted. 

They asserted, insolently, that there were among the Indians 
some who had committed murders, and that they must be given 
up. Some of the ringleaders were then taken into the barracks 
and asked to point out the murderers. Covered with confu- 
sion, they were obliged to admit they could not accuse one In- 
dian there. They then charged the Quakers with having taken 
away six and concealed them. This also was disproved, and 
finally the excitement subsided. 

All through the spring and summer the Indians remained 
prisoners in the barracks. Their situation became almost in- 
supportable from confinement, unwholesome diet, and the men- 
tal depression inevitable in their state. To add to their mis- 
ery small-pox broke out among them, and fifty-six died in the 
course of the summer from this loathsome disease. 

"We cannot describe," said the missionaries, "the joy and 
fervent desire which most of them showed in the prospect of 
seeing their Saviour face to face. We saw with amazement the 
power of the blood of Jesus in the hearts of poor sinners." 
This was, no doubt, true ; but there might well have entered 
into the poor, dying creatures' thoughts an ecstasy at the mere 
prospect of freedom, after a year of such imprisonment and 

At last, on December 4th, the news of peace reached Phila- 
delphia. On the 6th a proclamation was published in all tha 


newspapers that war was ended and hostilities must cease. The 
joy with which the prisoned Indians received this news can 
hardly be conceived. It " exceeded all descriptions," says the 
record, and " was manifested in thanksgivings and praises to 
the Lord." 

It was still unsafe, however, for them to return to their old 
homes, which were thickly surrounded by white settlers, who 
were no less hostile now at heart than they had been before the 
proclamation of peace. It was decided, therefore, that they 
should make a new settlement in the Indian country on the 
Susquehanna River. After a touching farewell to. their old 
friends of the Bethlehem congregation, and a grateful leave- 
taking of the governor, who had protected and supported them 
for sixteen months, they set out on the 3d of April for their 
new home in the wilderness. For the third time their aged, 
sick, and little children were placed in overloaded wagons, for 
a long and difficult journey a far harder one than any they 
had yet taken. The inhospitalities of the lonely wilderness 
were worse than the curses and revilings of riotous mobs. 
They were overtaken by severe snow-storms. They camped 
in icy swamps, shivering all night around smouldering fires of 
wet wood. To avoid still hostile whites they had to take 
great circuits through unbroken forests, where each foot of 
their path had to be cut tree by tree. The men waded streams 
and made rafts for the women and children. Sometimes, when 
the streams were deep, they had to go into camp, and wait till 
canoes could be built. They carried heavy loads of goods for 
which there was no room in the wagons. Going over high, 
steep hills, they often had to divide their loads into small par- 
cels, thus doubling and trebling the road. Their provisions 
gave out. They ate the bitter wild potatoes. When the chil- 
dren cried with hunger, they peeled chestnut-trees, and gave 
them the sweet-juiced inner bark to suck. Often they had no 
water except that from shallow, muddy puddles. Once they 


were environed by blazing woods, whose fires burnt fiercely for 
hours around their encampment. Several of the party died, 
and were buried by the way. 

"But all these trials were forgotten in their daily meetings, 
in which the presence of the Lord was most sensibly and com- 
fortably felt. These were always held in the evening, around 
a large fire, in the open air." 

They celebrated a "joyful commemoration" of Easter, and 
spent the Passion - week "in blessed contemplation" of the 
sufferings of Jean*, whose "presence supported them under all 
afflictions, insomuch that they never lost their cheerfulness 
and resignation" during the five long weeks of this terrible 

On the 9th of May they arrived at Machwihilusing, and 
" forgot all their pain and trouble for joy that they had reach- 
ed the place of their future abode. * * * With offers of praise 
and thanksgiving, they devoted themselves anew to Him who 
had given them rest for the soles of their feet." 

" With renewed courage " they selected their home on the 
banks of the Susquehanna, and proceeded to build houses. 
They gave to the settlement the name of Friedenshutten a 
name full of significance, as coming from the hearts of these 
persecuted wanderers : Friedenshutten " Tents of Peace." 

If all this persecution had fallen upon these Indians because 
they were Christians, the record, piteous as it is, would be only 
one out of thousands of records of the sufferings of Christian 
martyrs, and would stir our sympathies less than many another. 
But this was not the case. It was simply because they were 
Indians that the people demanded their lives, and would have 
taken them, again and again, except that all the power of the 
Government was enlisted for their protection. The fact of 
their being Christians did not enter in, one way or the other, 
any more than did the fact that they were peaceable. They 
were Indians, and the frontiersmen of Pennsylvania intended 


either to drive all Indians out of their State or kill them, just 
as the frontiersmen of Nebraska and of Colorado now intend 
to do if they can. We shall see whether the United States 
Government is as strong to-day as the Government of the Prov- 
ince of Pennsylvania was in 1763 ; or whether it will try first 
(and fail), as John Penn did, to push the helpless, hunted creat- 
ures off somewhere into a temporary makeshift of shelter, for a 
temporary deferring of the trouble of protecting them. 

Sixteen years after the Conestoga massacre came that of 
Gnadenhiitten, the blackest crime on the long list ; a massacre 
whose equal for treachery and cruelty cannot be pointed out in 
the record of massacres of whites by Indians. 

n. The Cfnadenhutten Massacre. 

In the year 1779 the congregations of Moravian Indians liv- 
ing at Gnadenhiitten, Salem, and Schonbrun, on the Muskingum 
River, were compelled by hostile Indians to forsake their vil- 
lages and go northward to the Sandusky Eiver. This move- 
ment was instigated by the English, who had become sus- 
picious that the influence of the Moravian missionaries was 
thrown on the side of the colonies, and that their villages were 
safe centres of information and supplies. These Indians hav- 
ing taken no part whatever in the war, there was no pretext for 
open interference with them ; but the English agents found it 
no difficult matter to stir up the hostile tribes to carry out 
their designs. And when the harassed congregations finally 
consented to move, the savages who escorted them were com- 
manded by English officers. 

" The savages drove them forward like cattle," says an old 
narrative ; " the white brethren and sisters in the midst, sur- 
rounded by the believing Indians." " One morning, when the 
latter could not set out as expeditiously as the savages thought 
proper, they attacked the white brethren, and forced them to 
set out alone, whipping their horses forward till they grew 


wild, and not even allowing mothers time to suckle their chil- 
dren. The road was exceeding bad, leading through a contin- 
uance of swamps. Sister Zeisberger fell twice from her horse, 
and once, hanging in the stirrup, was dragged for some time ; 
but assistance was soon at hand, and the Lord preserved her 
from harm. Some of the believing Indians followed them as 
fast as possible, hut with all their exertions did not overtake 
them till night." 

For one month these unfortunate people journeyed through 
the wilds in this way. When they reached the Sandusky 
Creek the savages left them to take care of themselves as best 
they might. They were over a hundred miles from their 
homes, " in a wilderness where there was neither game nor pro- 
visions." Here they built huts of logs and bark. They had 
neither beds nor blankets. In fact, the only things which the 
savages had left them were their utensils for making maple 
sugar. It was the middle of October when they reached San- 
dusky. Already it was cold, and the winter was drawing near. 
In November Governor De Peyster, the English commander at 
Fort Detroit, summoned the missionaries to appear before him 
and refute the accusations brought against their congregations 
of having aided and abetted the colonies. 

" The missionaries answered that they doubted not in the 
least but that very evil reports must have reached his ears, as 
the treatment they had met with had sufficiently proved that 
they were considered as guilty persons, but that these reports 
were false. * * * That Congress, indeed, knew that they were 
employed as missionaries to the Indians, and did not disturb 
them in their labors ; but had never in anything given them 
directions how to proceed." 

The governor, convinced of the innocence and single-heart- 
edness of these noble men, publicly declared that " he felt great 
satisfaction in their endeavors to civilize and Christianize the 
Indians, and would permit them to return to their congrega- 


tions." He then gave them passports for their journey back 
to Sandusky, and appended a permission that they should per- 
form the functions of their office among the Christian In- 
dians without molestation. 

This left them at rest so far as apprehensions of attack from 
hostile Indians were concerned; but there still remained the 
terrible apprehension of death by starvation and cold. Deep 
snows lay on the ground. Their hastily-built huts were so 
small that it was impossible to make large fires in them. Their 
floors being only the bare earth, whenever a thaw came the 
water forced itself up and then froze again. Cattle died for 
lack of food, and their carcasses were greedily devoured ; nurs- 
ing children died for want of nourishment from their starv- 
ing mothers' breasts ; the daily allowance of corn to each adult 
was one pint, and even this pittance it was found would not 
last till spring. 

Nevertheless, " they celebrated the Christmas holidays with 
cheerfulness and blessing, and concluded this remarkable year 
with thanks and praise to Him who is ever the Saviour of his 
people. But, having neither bread nor wine, they could not 
keep the communion." 

Meantime the com still stood ungathered in their old fields 
on the Muskingum River. Weather-beaten, frozen, as it was, 
it would be still a priceless store to these starving people. The 
project of going back there after it began to be discussed. 
It was one hundred and twenty-five miles' journey ; but food 
in abundance lay at the journey's end. Finally it was decided 
that the attempt should be made. Their first plan was to 
hide their families in the woods at some distance from the 
settlements lest there might be some danger from hostile 
whites. On their way, however, they were met by some of 
their brethren from Schonbrun, who advised them to go hack 
openly into their deserted towns, assuring them that the 
Americans were friendly to them now. They accordingly did 


so, and remained for several weeks at Salem and Gnadenhiik 
ten, working day and night gathering and husking the weath- 
er-beaten com, and burying it in holes in the ground in the 
woods for future supply. On the very day that they were to 
have set off with their packs of com, to return to their starv- 
ing friends and relatives at Sandusky, a party of between one 
and two hundred whites made their appearance at Gnaden- 
hiitten. Seeing the Indians scattered all through the corn- 
fields, they rode up to them, expressing pleasure at seeing 
them, and saying that they would take them into Pennsyl- 
vania, to a place where they would be .out of all reach of per- 
secution from the hostile savages or the English. They repre- 
sented themselves as " friends and brothers, who had purpose- 
ly come out to relieve them from the distress brought on them 
on account of their being friends to the American people. 
* * * The Christian Indians, not in the least doubting their 
sincerity, walked up to them and thanked them for being so 
kind ; while the whites again gave assurances that they would 
meet with good treatment from them. They then advised 
them to discontinue their work and cross over to the town, in 
order to make necessary arrangements for the journey, as they 
intended to take them out of the reach of their enemies, and 
where they would be supplied abundantly with all they stood 
in need of." 

They proposed to take them to Pittsburg, where they 
would be out of the way of any assault made by the English 
or the savages. This the Indians heard, one of their mission- 
aries writes, " with resignation, concluding that God would 
perhaps choose this method to put an end to their sufferings. 
Prepossessed with this idea, they cheerfully delivered their 
guns, hatchets, and other weapons to the murderers, who prom- 
ised to take good care of them, and in Pittsburg to return 
every article to its rightful owner. Our Indians even showed 
them all those things which they had secreted in the woods, 


assisted in packing them up, and emptied all their "beehives for 
these pretended friends." 

In the mean time one of the assistants, John Martin by 
name, went to Salem, ten miles distant, and carried the good 
news that a party of whites had come from the settlements to 
carry them to a place of safety and give them protection. 
" The Salem Indians," says the same narrative, " did not hesi- 
tate to accept of this proposal, believing unanimously that God 
had sent the Americans to release them from their disagree- 
able situation at Sandusky, and imagining that when arrived 
at Pittsburg they might soon find a safe place to build a set- 
tlement, and easily procure advice and assistance from Beth- 

Some of the whites expressed a desire to see the village of 
Salem, were conducted thither, and received with much friend- 
ship by the Indians. On the way they entered into spiritual 
conversation with their unsuspecting companions, feigning 
great piety and discoursing on many religious and scriptural 
subjects. They offered also to assist the Salem Indians in 
moving their effects. 

In the mean time the defenceless Indians at Gnadenhiitten 
were suddenly attacked, driven together, bound with ropes, 
and confined. As soon as the Salem Indians arrived, they 
met with the same fate. 

The murderers then held a council to decide what should 
be done with them. By a majority of votes it was decided to 
kill them all the next day. To the credit of humanity be it 
recorded, that there were in this band a few who remonstrated, 
declared that these Indians were innocent and harmless, and 
should be set at liberty, or, at least, given up to the Govern- 
ment as prisoners. Their remonstrances were unavailing, and, 
finding that they could not prevail on these monsters to spare 
the Indians' lives, "they wrung their hands, calling God to 
witness that they were innocent of the blood of these Chris- 



tian Indians. They then withdrew to some distance from the 
scene of slaughter." 

The majority were unmoved, and only disagreed as to the 
method of putting their victims to death. Some were for 
"burning tliem alive; others for tomahawking and scalping 
them. The latter method was determined on, and a message 
was sent to the Indians that, "as they were Christian Indians, 
they might prepare themselves in a Christian manner, for they 
must all die to-morrow." 

The rest of the narrative is best told in the words of the 
Moravian missionaries : " It may be easily conceived how great 
their terror was at hearing a sentence so unexpected. How- 
ever, they soon recollected themselves, and patiently suffered 
the murderers to lead them into two houses, in one of which 
the brethren were confined and in the other the sisters and 
children. * * * Finding that all entreaties to save their lives 
were to no purpose, and that some, more blood-thirsty than 
others, were anxious to begin upon them, they united in beg- 
ging a short delay, that they might prepare themselves for 
death, which request was granted them. Then asking pardon 
for whatever offence they had given, or grief they had occa- 
sioned to each other, they knelt down, offering fervent prayers 
to God their Saviour and kissing one another. Under a flood 
of tears, fully resigned to his will, they sung praises unto him, 
in the joyful hope that they would soon be relieved from 
all pains and join their Redeemer in everlasting bliss. * * * 
The murderers, impatient to make a beginning, came again 
to them while they were singing, and, inquiring whether they 
were now ready for dying, they were answered in the affirma- 
tive, adding that they had commended their immortal souls to 
God, who had given them the assurance in their hearts that he 
would receive their souls. One of the party, now taking up 
a cooper's mallet which lay in the house, saying, ' How exactly 
this will answer for the purpose/ began with Abraham, and 


continued knocking down one" after another until be counted 
fourteen that he had killed with bis own bands. He now 
handed the instrument to one of his fellow-murderers, saying : 
' My arm fails me. Go on in the same way. I think I have 
done pretty well/ In another house, where mostly women 
and children were confined, Judith, a remarkably pious aged 
widow, was the first victim. After they had finished the hor- 
rid deed they retreated to a small distance from the slaughter- 
houses ; but, after a while, returning again to view the dead 
bodies, and finding one of them (Abel), although scalped and 
mangled, attempting to raise himself from the floor, they so 
renewed their blows upon him that he never rose again. * * * 
Thus ninety-six persons magnified the name of the Lord by 
patiently meeting a cruel death. Sixty-two were grown per- 
sons and thirty-four children. Many of them were born of 
Christian parents in the society, and were among those who in 
the year 1763 were taken under the protection of the Penn- 
sylvania Government at the time of the riots of the Paxton 
Boys. * * * Two boys, about fourteen years of age, almost 
miraculously escaped from this massacre. One of them was 
scalped and thrown down for dead. Eecovering himself, he 
looked around ; but, with great presence of mind, lay down 
again quickly, feigning death. In a few moments he saw the 
murderers return, and again bury their hatchets in the head of 
Abel, who was attempting to rise, though scalped and terribly 
mangled. As soon as it was dark, Thomas crept over the dead 
bodies and escaped to the woods, where he hid himself till night. 
The other lad, who was confined in the house with the women, 
contrived unnoticed to slip through a trap-door into the cellar, 
where he lay concealed through the day, the blood all the 
while running down through the floor in streams. At dark 
he escaped through a small window and crept to the woods, 
where he encountered Thomas, and the two made their way to- 
gether, after incredible hardships, to Sandusky. To describe the 


grief and terror of the Indian congregation on hearing that so 
large a number of its members was so cruelly massacred is im- 
possible. Parents wept and mourned for the loss of their chil- 
dren, husbands for their wives, and wives for their husbands, 
children for their parents, sisters for brothers, and brothers for 
sisters, But they murmured not, nor did they call for ven- 
geance on the murderers, but prayed for them. And their 
greatest consolation was a full assurance that all their beloved 
relatives were now at home in the presence of the Lord, and in 
full possession of everlasting happiness." 

An account of this massacre was given in the Pennsylvania 
Gazette, of April 17th, 1782. It runs as follows : 

" The people being greatly alarmed, and having received in- 
telligence that the Indian towns on the Muskingum had not 
moved, as reported, a number of men, properly provided, col- 
lected and rendezvoused on the Ohio, opposite the Mingo Bot- 
tom, with a desire to surprise the above towns. 

" One hundred men swam the river, and proceeded to the 
towns on the Muskingum, where the Indians had collected a 
large quantity of provisions to supply their war-parties. They 
arrived at the town in the night, undiscovered, attacked the In- 
dians in their cabins, and so completely surprised them that 
they killed and scalped upward of ninetybut a few making 
their escape about forty of whom were warriors, the rest old 
women and children. About eighty horses fell into their hands, 
which they loaded with the plunder, the greatest part furs and 
skins, and returned to the Ohio without the loss of a man." 

III. Massacres of Apaches. 

In less than one hundred years from this Gnadenhutten mas- 
sacre an officer of the 'United States Army, stationed at Camp 
Grant, in Arizona Territory, writes to his commanding officer the 
following letter : 


"Camp Grant, Arizona Territory, May 17th, 1871.. 

" DEAR COLONEL, Thanks for your kind letter of last week. 
If I could see you and have a long talk, and answer all your 
questions, I could come nearer giving you a clear idea of the 
history of the Indians at this post than by any written account. 
Having had them constantly under my observation for nearly 
three months, and the care of them constantly on my mind, 
certain things have become so much a matter of certainty to 
me that I am liable to forget the amount of evidence neces- 
sary to convince even the most unprejudiced mind that has not 
been brought in contact with them. I will, however, try and 
give you a connected account, and if it proves not sufficiently 
full in detail, you may be sure all its positive statements will 
be sustained by the testimony of all competent judges who 
have been at this post and cognizant of the facts. 

"Sometime in February a party of five old women came 
in under a flag of truce, with a letter from Colonel Greene, 
saying they were in search of a boy, the son of one of the 
number taken prisoner near Salt River some months before. 
This boy had been well cared for, and had become attached to 
his new mode of life, and did not wish to return. The party 
were kindly treated, rationed while here, and after two days 
went away, asking permission to return. They came in about 
eight days, I think, with a still larger number, with some arti- 
cles for sale, to purchase manta, as they were nearly naked. 
Before going away they said a young chief would like to come 
in with a party and have a talk. This I encouraged, and in a 
few days he came with about twenty-five of his band. He 
stated in brief that he was chief of a band of about one hun- 
dred and fifty of what were originally the Aravapa Apaches ; 
that he wanted peace ; that he and his people had no home, 
and could make none, as they were at all times apprehensive 
of the approach of the cavalry. I told him he should go to 
the White Mountains. He said, 'That is not our country, nei- 


ther are they our people. We are at peace with them, but never 
have mixed with them. Our fathers and their fathers before 
them have lived in these mountains, and have raised corn in 
this valley. We are taught to make mescal, our principal arti- 
cle of food, and in summer and winter here we have a never- 
failing supply, At the White Mountains there is none, and 
without it now we get sick. Some of our people have been 
in at Goodwin, and for a short time at the White Mountains ; 
but they are not contented, and they all say, " Let us go to the 
Aiavapa and make a final peace, and never break it." ' 

" I told him I had no authority to make any treaty with him, 
or to promise him that he would be allowed a permanent home 
here, but that he could bring in his band, and I would feed 
them, and report his wishes to the Department commander. 
In the mean time runners had been in from two other small 
bands, asking the same privileges and giving the same reasons. 
I made the same reply to all, and by about the llth of March 
I had over three hundred here. I wrote a detailed account 
of the \vhole matter, and sent it by express to Department 
Head-quarters, asking for instructions, having only the general 
policy of the Government in such cases for my guidance. Af- 
ter waiting more than six weeks my letter was returned to 
me without comment, except calling my attention to the fact 
that it was not briefed properly. At first I put them in camp, 
about half a mile from the post, and counted them, and issued 
their rations every second day. The number steadily increased 
until it reached the number of five hundred and ten, 

" Knowing, as I did, that the responsibility of the whole 
movement rested with me, and that, in case of any loss to the 
Government coming of it, I should be the sufferer, I kept them . 
continually under my observation till I came not only to know 
the faces of the men, but of the women and children. They 
were nearly naked, and needed everything in the way of cloth- 
ing. I stopped the Indians from bringing hay, that I might 


buy of these. I arranged a system of tickets with which to pay 
them and encourage them j and to be sure that they were prop- 
erly treated, I personally attended to the weighing. I also 
made inquiries as to the kind of goods sold them, and prices. 
This proved a perfect success ; not only the women and children 
engaged in the work, but the men. The amount furnished by 
them in about two months was nearly 300,000 pounds. 

"During this time many small parties had been out with 
passes for a certain number of days to burn mescal. These parties 
were always mostly women, and I made myself sure by noting 
the size of the party, and from the amount of mescal brought 
in, that no treachery was intended. From the first I was deter- 
mined to know not only all they did, but their hopes and in- 
tentions. For this purpose I spent hours each day with them 
in explaining to them the relations they should sustain to the 
Government, and their prospects for the future in case of either 
obedience or disobedience. I got from them in return much 
of their habits of thought and rules of action. I made it a 
point to tell them all they wished to know, and in the plainest 
and most positive manner. They were readily obedient, and re- 
markably quick of comprehension. They were happy and con- 
tented, and took every opportunity to show it. They had sent 
out runners to two other bands which were connected with them 
by intermarriages, and had received promises from them that 
they would come in and join them. I am confident, from all I 
have been able to learn, that but for this unlooked-for butchery, 
by this time we would have had one thousand persons, and at 
least two hundred and fifty able-bodied men. As their num- 
ber increased and the weather grew warmer, they asked and ob- 
tained permission to move farther up the Aravapa to higher 
ground and plenty of water, and opposite to the ground they 
were proposing to plant. They were rationed every third day. 
Captain Stanwood arrived about the first of April, and took 
command of the post. He had received, while en route, verbal 


instructions from General Stoneman to recognize and feed any 
Indians he might find at the post as prisoners of war. Aftei 
he had carefully inspected all things pertaining to their conduct 
and treatment, he concluded to make no changes, hut had be- 
come so veil satisfied of the integrity of their intentions that 
he left on the 24th with his whole troop for a long scout in 
the lower part of the Territory. The ranchmen in this vicinity 
were friendly and kind to them, and felt perfectly secure, and 
had agreed with me to employ them at a fair rate of pay to 
harvest their barley. The Indians seemed to have lost their 
characteristic anxiety to purchase ammunition, and had, in many 
instances, sold their best bows and arrows. ' I made frequent 
visits to their camp, and if any were absent from count, made 
it my business to know why. 

" Such was the condition of things up to the morning of the 
30th of April. They had so won on me that, from my first 
idea of treating them justly and honestly, as an officer of the 
army, I had come to feel a strong personal interest in helping 
to show them the way to a higher civilization. I had come 
to feel respect for men who, ignorant and naked, were still 
ashamed to lie or steal \ and fdr women who would work cheer- 
fully like slaves to clothe themselves and children, but, untaught, 
held their virtue above price. Aware of the lies industriously 
circulated by the puerile press of the country, I was content 
to know I had positive proof they were so. 

" I had ceased to have any fears of their leaving here, and 
only dreaded for them that they might be at any time ordered 
to do so. They frequently expressed anxiety to hear from the 
general, that they might have confidence to build for themselves 
better houses ; but would always say, 'You know what we want, 
and if you can't see him you can write, and do for us what you 
can/ It is possible that, during this time, individuals from here 
had visited other bands \ but that any number had ever been 
out to assist in any marauding expedition I know is false. Ox 


the morning of April 30th I was at breakfast at 7.30 o'clock, 
when a despatch was brought to me by a sergeant of Company 
P, 21st Infantry, from Captain Penn, commanding Camp Low- 
ell, informing me that a large party had left Tucson on the 28th 
with the avowed purpose of killing all the Indians at this post. 
I immediately sent the two interpreters, mounted, to the Indian 
camp, with orders to tell the chiefs the exact state of things, 
and for them to bring their entire party inside the post. As I 
had no cavalry, and but about fifty infantry (all recruits), and 
no other officer, I could not leave the post .to go to their de- 
fence. My messengers returned in about an hour with intelli- 
gence that they could find no living Indians. 

"Their camp was burning, and the ground strewed with their 
dead and mutilated women and children. I immediately mount- 
ed a party of about twenty soldiers and citizens, and sent them 
with the post surgeon with a wagon to bring in the wounded, 
if any could be found. The party returned late in the after- 
noon, having found no wounded, and without having been able 
to communicate with any of the survivors. Early the next 
morning I took a similar party with spades and shovels, and 
went out and buried the dead immediately in and about the 
camp. I had, the day before, offered the interpreters, or any 
one who would do so, $100 to go to the mountains and com- 
municate with them, and convince them that no officer or sol- 
dier of the United States Government had been concerned in 
the vile transaction j and, failing in this, I thought the act of 
caring for their dead would be an evidence to them of our sym- 
pathy, at least, and the conjecture proved correct ; for while 
we were at the work, many of them came to the spot and 
indulged in expressions of grief too wild and terrible to be 

" That evening they began to come in from all directions, sin- 
gly and in small parties, so changed as hardly to be recognizable 
in the forty-eight hours during which they had neither eaten 


nor slept. Many of the men, whose families had all been killed, 
when I spoke to them and expressed sympathy for them, were 
obliged to turn away, unable to speak, and too proud to show 
their grief. The women whose children had been killed or 
stolen were convulsed with grief, and looked to me appealingly, 
as if I were their last hope on earth. Children, who two days 
before had been full of frolic, kept at a distance, expressing 
wondering horror. 

u I did what I could : I fed them, talked to them, and lis- 
tened patiently to their accounts. I sent horses to the moun- 
tains to bring in two badly wounded women, one shot through 
the left leg, one with an arm shattered. These were attended 
to, and are doing well, and will recover. 

"Theii camp was surrounded and attacked at daybreak. 
So sudden and unexpected was it, that I found a number of 
women shot while asleep beside their bundles of hay, which 
they had collected to bring in on that morning. The wounded 
who were unable to get away had their brains beaten out 
with clubs or stones, while some were shot full of arrows after 
having been mortally wounded by gun-shots. The bodies were 
all stripped. Of the number buried, one was an old man, and 
one was a well-grown boy ; all the rest women and children. 
Of the whole number killed and missing about one hundred 
and twenty-five only eight were men. It has been said that 
the men were not there : they were all there. On the 28th 
we counted one hundred and twenty-eight men, a small num- 
ber being absent for mescal, all of whom have since been in. 
I have spent a good deal of time with them since the affair, 
and have been astonished at their continued unshaken faith in 
me, and their perfectly clear understanding of their misfor- 
tune. They say, ' We know there are a great many white men 
and Mexicans who do not wish us to live at peace. "We know 
that the Papagos would never have come out against us at 
this time unless they had been persuaded to do so. 1 What 


they do not understand is, while they are at peace and are 
conscious of no wrong intent, that they should be murdered. 

" One of the chiefs said : * I no longer want to live ; my 
women and children have been killed before my face, and I 
have been unable to defend them. Most Indians in my place 
would take a knife and cut their throats; but I will live 
to show these people that all they have done, and all they 
can do, shall not make me break faith with you so long aa 
you will stand by us and defend us, in a language we know 
nothing of, to a great governor we never have and never shall 

" About their captives they say : * Get them back for us. 
Our little boys will grow up slaves, and our girls, as soon as 
they are large enough, will be diseased prostitutes, to get 
money for whoever owns them. Our women work hard, and 
are good women, and they and our children have no diseases. 
Our dead you cannot bring to life ; but those that are living 
we gave to you, and we look to you, who can write and talk 
and have soldiers, to get them back.' 

" I assure you it is no easy task to convince them of my 
zeal when they see so little being done. I have pledged my 
word to them that I never would rest, day or night, until they 
should have justice, and just now I would as soon leave the 
army as to be ordered away from them, or be obliged to order 
them away from here. But you well know the difficulties in 
the way. You know that parties who would engage in murder 
like this could and would make statements and multiply affi- 
davits without end in their justification. I know you will use 
your influence on the right side. I believe, with them, this 
may be made either a means of making good citizens of them 
and their children, or of driving them out to a hopeless war of 
extermination. They ask to be allowed to live here in their 
old homes, where nature supplies nearly all their wants. They 
ask for a fair and impartial trial of their faith, and they ask 


that all their captive childen may be returned to them. la 
their demand unreasonable ] " 

This letter was written to Colonel T. G. C. Lee, U.S.A., by 
Lieut. Eoyal E. Whitman, 3d U.S. Cavalry. It is published 
in the Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners for 1871. 
There is appended to it the following affidavit of the post 
surgeon at Camp Grant : 

"On this 16th day of September, 1871, personally appeared 
Conant B. Erierley, who, being duly sworn according to law, 
deposeth and saith : c I am acting-assistant surgeon, U.S.A., 
at Camp Grant, Arizona, where I arrived April 25th, 1871, and 
reported to the commanding officer for duty as medical officer. 
Some four hundred Apache Indians were at that time held as 
prisoners of war by the military stationed at Camp Grant, and 
during the period intervening between April 25th and 30th I 
saw the Indians every day. They seemed very well contented, 
and were "busily employed in bringing in hay, which they sold 
for manta and such little articles as they desired outside the 
Government ration, April 29th Chiquita and some of the 
other chiefs were at the post, and asked for seeds and for some 
hoes, stating that they had ground cleared and ready for plant- 
ing. They were told that the garden-seeds had been sent for, 
and would be up from Tucson in a few days. They then left, 
and I saw nothing more of them until after the killing. 

" ' Sunday morning I heard a rumor that the Indians had 
been attacked, and learned from Lieutenant Whitman that he 
had sent the two interpreters to the Indian camp to warn the 
Indians, and bring them down where they could be protected, 
if possible. Tha interpreters returned and stated that the at- 
tack had already been made and the Indians dispersed, and 
that the attacking party were returning. 

" ' Lieutenant Whitman then ordered me to go to the Indian 
camp to render medical assistance, and bring down any wound- 
ed I might find. I took twelve men and a wagon, and pro- 


Deeded without delay to the scene of the murder. On my ar- 
rival I found that I should have but little use for the wagon 
or medicine. The work had been too thoroughly done. The 
camp had been fired, and the dead bodies of twenty-one wo- 
men and children were lying scattered over the ground j those 
who had been wounded in the first instance had their brains 
beaten out with stones. Two of the squaws had been first rav- 
ished, and then shot dead. One infant of some two months 
was shot twice, and one leg nearly hacked off. * * * I know 
from my own personal observations that, during the time the 
Indians were in, after my arrival, they were rationed every 
three days, and Indians absent had to be accounted for ; their 
faces soon became familiar to me, and I could at once tell when 
any strange Indian came in. 

"* And I furthermore state that I have been among nearly 
all the tribes on the Pacific coast, and that I have never seen 
any Indians who showed the intelligence, honesty, and desire 
to learn manifested by these Indians. I came among them 
greatly prejudiced against them; but, after being with them, I 
was compelled to admit that they were honest in their inten- 
tions, and really desired peace. 

" ' Acting Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A.' * 

This is not the only instance of cruel outrage committed by 
white men on the Apaches. In the Eeport of the Board of 
Indian Commissioners for 1871 is the following letter from 
one of the Arizona pioneers, Mr. J. H. Lyman, of Northamp- 
ton, Mass. Mr. Lyman spent the years of 1840-'41 among the 
Apaches, and thus briefly relates an occurrence which took 
place at a time when they were friendly and cordial to all 
Americans going among them : 

"The Indians were then, as now, hostile to the Mexicans of 
Sonora, and they were constantly making raids into the State 


and driving off the cattle. The Mexicans feared them, and 
were unable to meet them man to man. At that time Ameri- 
can trappers found the beaver very abundant about the head- 
waters of the Gila River, among those rich mountain valleys 
where the Apaches had, and still have, their secure retreats. 
At the tune I speak of there wore two companies of trappers 
in that region. One of the companies, about seventeen men, 
was under a captain named Johnson. The other company con- 
sisted of thirty men, I think. I was trapping on another head 
of the Gila, several miles north. The valleys were full of 
Apaches, but all peaceful toward the white men, both Indians 
and whites visiting each other's camps constantly and fear- 
lessly, with no thought of treachery or evil. Besides the 
Mexicans, the only enemies of the Apaches were the Piutes 
and Navajoes, in the north-west. But here in their fastnesses 
they felt safe from all foes. 

" One day Johnson concluded to go down into Sonora on 
a spree, as was occasionally the way with mountain-men. He 
there saw the Governor of Sonora, who, knowing that he had 
the confidence of the Indians, offered him an ounce of gold 
for every Apache scalp he would bring him. The bargain was 
struck. Johnson procured a small mountain howitzer, and then, 
with supplies for his party, returned to his camp. Previous to 
entering it he loaded his howitzer with a quantity of bullets. 
On approaching the valley he was met by the Indians, who 
joyfully welcomed him back, and proceeded at once to prepare 
the usual feast. While they were boiling and roasting their 
venison and bear meat, and were gathered in a small group 
around the fire, laughing and chatting in anticipation of the 
pleasure they expected in entertaining their guests, Johnson 
told those of his party who had remained behind of the offer 
of the governor, and with such details of temptation as easily 
overcame any scruples such men might have. 

"As they were all armed with rifles, which were always in 


hand day and night, together with pistols in belt, they needed 
no preparation. The howitzer, which the Indians might have 
supposed to be a small keg of whiskey, was placed on the 
ground and pointed at the group of warriors, squaws, and little 
children round the fire, watching the roasting meal. 

" While they were thus engaged, with hearts full of kindly 
feelings toward their white friends, Johnson gave the signal. 
The howitzer was discharged, sending its load of bullets scat- 
tering and tearing through the mass of miserable human be- 
ings, and nearly all who were not stricken down were shot by 
the rifles. A very few succeeded in escaping into the ravine, 
and fled over the dividing ridge into the northern valleys, 
where they met others of their tribe, to whom they told the 
horrible story. 

" The Apaches at once showed that they could imitate their 
more civilized brothers. Immediately a band of them went in 
search of the other company of trappers, who, of course, were 
utterly unconscious of Johnson's infernal work. They were 
attacked, unprepared, and nearly all killed \ and then the story 
that the Apaches were treacherous and cruel went forth into 
all the land, but nothing of the wrongs they had received." 

Is it to be wondered at that the Apaches became one of the 
most hostile and dangerous tribes on the Pacific coast ? 

These are but four massacres out of scores, whose history, if 
written, would prove as clearly as do these, that, hi the long 
contest between white men and Indians, the Indian hs not 
always been the aggressor, and that treachery and crue? y are 
by no means exclusively Indian traits. 




THEBI are within the limits of the United States between 
two hundred and fifty and" three hundred thousand Indians, 
exclusive of those in Alaska. The names of the different 
tribes and bands, as entered in the statistical tables of the In- 
<lian Office Eeports, number nearly three hundred. One of the 
most careful estimates which have been made of their numbers 
and localities gives them as follows : " In Minnesota and States 
east of the Mississippi, about 32,500 ; in Nebraska, Kansas, 
and the Indian Territory, 70,650 ; in the Territories of Da- 
kota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, 65,000 j in Nevada and 
the Territories of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona, 
84,000 ; and on the Pacific slope, 48,000." 

Of these, 130,000 are self-supporting on their own reserva- 
tions, "receiving nothing from the Government except interest 
on their own moneys, or annuities granted them in considera- 
tion of the cession of their lands to the United States." * 

This fact alone would seem sufficient to dispose forever of 
the accusation, so persistently brought against the Indian, that 
he will not work. 

Of the remainder, 84,000 are partially supported by the 
Government the interest money due them and their annui- 
ties, as provided by treaty, being inadequate to their subsist- 
ence on the reservations where they are confined. In many 
cases, however, these Indians furnish a large part of their sup- 

* Annual Report of Indian Commissioner for 1872. 


port the White Kiver TJtes, for instance, who are reported by 
the Indian Bureau as getting sixty-six per cent, of their living 
by "root-digging, hunting, and fishing;" the Squaxin band, in 
"Washington Territory, as earning seventy-five per cent., and the 
Chippewas of Lake Superior as earning fifty per cent, in the 
tsame way. These facts also would' seem to dispose of the ac- 
cusation that the Indian will not work. 

There are about 55,000 who never visit an agency, over 
whom the Government does not pretend to have either control 
or care. These 55,000 " subsist by hunting, fishing, on roots, 
nuts, berries, etc., and by begging and stealing ;" and this also 
seems to dispose of the accusation that the Indian will not 
"work for a living." There remains a small portion, about 
31,000, that are entirely subsisted by the Government. 

There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians 
one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands either of the 
Government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insig- 
nificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cru- 
elty and outrage to which they have been subjected. This is 
especially true of the bands on the Pacific slope. These Indians 
found themselves of a sudden surrounded by and caught up in 
the great influx of gold-seeking settlers, as helpless creatures 
on a shore are caught up in a tidal wave. There was not time 
for the Government to make treaties ; not even time for com- 
munities to make laws. The tale of the wrongs, the oppres- 
sions, the murders of the Pacific-slope Indians in the last thirty 
years would be a volume by itself, and is too monstrous to be 

It makes little difference, however, where one opens the rec- 
ord of the history of the Indians ; every page and every year 
has its dark stain. The story of one tribe is the story of all, 
varied only by differences of time and place ; but neither time 
nor place makes any difference in the main facts. Colorado is 
as greedy and unjust in 1880 as was Georgia in 1830, and Ohio 


in 1795 ; and the United States Government breaks promises 
now as deftly as then, and with an added ingenuity from long 


One of its strongest supports in so doing is the wide-spread 
sentiment among the people of dislike to the Indian, of impa- 
tience with his presence as a " harrier to civilization/' and dis- 
trust of it as a possihle danger. The old tales of the frontier 
life, with its horrors of Indian warfare, have gradually, "by two 
or three generations' telling, produced in the average mind 
something like an hereditary instinct of unquestioning and un- 
reasoning aversion which it is almost impossible to dislodge or 


There are hundreds of pages of unimpeachable testimony on 
the side of the Indian; but it goes for nothing, is set down as 
sentimentalism or partisanship, tossed aside and forgotten. 

President after president has appointed commission after 
commission to inquire into and report upon Indian affairs, and 
to make suggestions as to the best methods of managing them. 
The reports are filled with eloquent statements of wrongs done 
to the Indians, of perfidies on the part of the Government ; 
they counsel, as earnestly as word? can, a trial of the simple 
and unperplexing expedients of telling truth, keeping prom- 
ises, making fair bargains, dealing justly in all ways and all 
things. These reports are bound up with the Government's An- 
nual Reports, and that is the end of them. It would probably 
be no exaggeration to say that not one American citizen out of 
ten thousand ever sees them or knows that they exist, and yet 
any one of them, circulated throughout the country, read by 
the right-thinking, right-feeling men and women of this land, 
would be of itself a " campaign document " that would ini- 
tiate a revolution which would not subside until the Indians' 
wrongs were, so far as is now left possible, righted. 

In 1869 President Grant appointed a commission of nine 
men, representing the influence and philanthropy of six leading 


States, to visit tlie different Indian reservations, and to "exam- 
ine all matters appertaining to Indian affairs." 

In the report of this commission are such paragraphs as the 
following : " To assert that ' the Indian will not work ' is as 
true ^as it would be to say that the white man will not work. 

" Why should the Indian be expected to plant corn, fence 
lands, build houses, or do anything but get food from day to 
day, when experience has taught him that the product of his 
labor will be seized by the white man to-morrow ? The most 
industrious white man would become a drone under similar 
circumstances. Nevertheless, many of the Indians " (the com- 
missioners might more forcibly have said 130,000 of the In- 
dians) " are already at work, and furnish ample refutation of 
the assertion that ' the Indian will not work/ There is no 
escape from the inexorable logic of facts. 

" The history of the Government connections with the In- 
dians is a shameful record of broken treaties and unfulfilled 
promises. The history of the border white man's connection 
with the Indians is a sickening record of murder, outrage, rob- 
bery, and wrongs committed by the former, as the rule, and 
occasional savage outbreaks and unspeakably barbarous deeds 
of retaliation by the latter, as the exception. 

" Taught by the Government that they had rights entitled 
to respect, when those rights have been assailed by the rapac- 
ity of the white man, the arm which should have been raised 
to protect them has ever been ready to sustain the aggressor. 

" The testimony of some of the highest military officers of 
the United States is on record to the effect that, in our Indian 
wars, almost without exception, the first aggressions have been 
made by the white man ; and the assertion is supported by ev- 
ery civilian of reputation who has studied the subject. In ad- 
dition to the class of robbers and outlaws who find impunity 
in their nefarious pursuits on the frontiers, there is a large 
class of professedly reputable men who use every means in 


their power to bring on Indian wars for the sake of the profit 
to be realized from the presence of troops and the expenditure 
of Government funds in their midst. They proclaim death to 
the Indians at all times in words and publications, making no 
distinction between the innocent and the guilty. They irate 
the lowest class of men to the perpetration of the darkest 
deeds against their victims, and as judges and jurymen shield 
them from the justice due to their crimes. Every crime com- 
mitted by a white man against an Indian is concealed or pal- 
liated. Every offence committed by an Indian against a white 
man is borne on the wings of the post or the telegraph to the 
remotest corner of the land, clothed with all the horrors which 
the reality or imagination can throw around it. Against such 
influences as these the people of the United States need to be 

To assume that it would be easy, or by any one sudden 
stroke of legislative policy possible, to undo the mischief and 
hurt of the long past, set the Indian policy of the country right 
for the future, and make the Indians at once safe and happy, 
is the blunder of a hasty and uninformed judgment. The no- 
tion which seems to be growing more prevalent, that simply 
to make all Indians at once citizens of the United States would 
be a sovereign and instantaneous panacea for all their ills and 
all the Government's perplexities, is a very inconsiderate one. 
To administer complete citizenship of a sudden, all round, to 
all Indians, barbarous and civilized alike, would be as grotesque 
a blunder as to dose them all round with any one medicine, 
irrespective of the symptoms and needs of their diseases. It 
would kill more than it would cure. Nevertheless, it is true, 
as was well stated by one of the superintendents of Indian 
Affairs in 1857, that, "so long as they are not citizens of the 
United States, their rights of property must remain insecure 
against invasion. .-The doors of the federal tribunals being 
barred against them while wards and dependents, they can 


only partially exercise the rights of free government, or give to 
those who make, execute, and construe the few laws they are 
allowed to enact, dignity sufficient to make them respectable. 
While they continue individually to gather the crumbs that 
fall from the table of the United States, idleness, improvix 
dence, and indebtedness will be the rule, and industry, thrift, 
and freedom from debt the exception. The utter absence of 
individual title to particular lands deprives every one among 
them of the chief incentive to labor and exerti9n the very 
mainspring on which the prosperity of a people depends." 

All judicious plans and measures for their safety and salva- 
tion must embody provisions for their becoming citizens as 
fast as they are fit, and must protect them till then in every 
right and particular in which our laws protect other "persons" 
who are not citizens. 

There is a disposition in a certain class of minds to be 
impatient with any protestation against wrong which is unac- 
companied or unprepared with a quick and exact scheme of 
remedy. This is illogical. When pioneers in a new country 
find a tract of poisonous and swampy wilderness to be re- 
claimed, they do not withhold their hands from fire and axe 
till they see clearly which way roads should run, where good 
water will spring, and what crops will best grow on the re- 
deemed land. They first clear the swamp. So with this 
poisonous and baffling part of the domain of our national af- 
fairs let us first " clear the swamp." 

However great perplexity and difficulty there may be in the 
details of any and every plan possible for doing at this late 
day anything like justice to the Indian, however hard it may 
be for good statesmen and good men to agree upon the things 
that ought to be done, there certainly is, or ought to be, no 
perplexity whatever, no difficulty whatever, in agreeing upon 
certain things that ought not to be done, and which must 
cease to be done before the first steps can be taken toward 

342 A CENTUM 0* 

righting the wrongs, curing the ills, and "wiping out the dis- 
grace to us of the present condition of our Indians. 

Cheating, robbing, breaking promises these three are clearly 
things which must cease to be done. One more thing, also, 
and that is the refusal of the protection of the law to the 
Indian's rights of property, "of life, liberty, and the pursuit 
of happiness." 

When these four things have ceased to be done, time, states- 
manship, philanthropy, and Christianity can slowly and surely 
do the rest. Till these four things have ceased to "be done, 
statesmanship and philanthropy alike must work in vain, and 
even Christianity can reap but small harvest. 




THE following letters were printed in the New York Tribune in 
the winter of 1879. They are of interest, not only as giving a 
minute account of one of the most atrocious massacres ever pei-- 
petrated, but also as showing the sense of justice which is to be 
found in the frontiersman's mind to-day. That men, exasperated 
by atrocities and outrages, should have avenged themselves with 
hot haste and cruelty, was, perhaps, only human; but that men 
should be found, fifteen years later, apologizing for, nay, justifying 
the cruel deed, is indeed a matter of marvel. 


In June, 1864, Governor Evans, of Colorado, sent out a circular 
to the Indians of the Plains, inviting all friendly Indians to come 
into the neighborhood of the forts, and be protected by the United 
States troops. Hostilities and depredations had been committed 
by some bands 'of Indians, and the Government was about to 
make war upon them. This circular says: 

" In some instances they (the Indians) have attacked and killed 
soldiers, and murdered peaceable citizens. For this the Great 
Father is angry, and will certainly hunt them out and punish 
them ; but he does not want to injure those who remain friendly 
to the whites. He desires to protect and take care of them. For 
this purpose I direct that all friendly Indians keep away from 
those who are at war, and go to places of safety. Friendly Arapa- 
hoes and Cheyennes belonging to the Arkansas River will go to 
Major Colby, United States Agent at Fort Lyon, who will give 
them provisions and show them a place of safety." 

In consequence of this proclamation of the governor, a band of 


Cheyennes, several hundred in number, came in and settled down 
near Fort Lyon. After a time they were requested to move to 
Sand Creek, about forty miles from Fort Lyon, where they were 
still guaranteed " perfect safety " and the protection of the Gov- 
ernment. Kations of food were issued to them from time to time. 
On the 27th of November, Colonel J. M. Chiviugton, a member 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Denver, and Colonel of the 
First Colorado Cavalry, led his regiment by a forced march to 
Fort Lyon, induced some of the United States troops to join him, 
and fell upon this camp of friendly Indians at daybreak. The 
chief, White Antelope, always known as friendly to the whites, 
came running toward the soldiers, holding up his hands and cry- 
ing " Stopl stop! " in English. When he saw that there was no 
mistake, that it was a deliberate attack, he folded his arms and 
waited till he was shot down. The United States flag was float- 
ing over the lodge of Black Kettle, the head chief of the tribe; 
below it was tied also a small white flag as additional security a 
precaution Black Kettle had been advised by United States offi- 
cers to take if he met troops on the Plains. In Major Wynkoop's 
testimony, given before the committee appointed by Congress to 
investigate this massacre, is the following passage : 

" Women and children were killed and scalped, children shot 
at their mothers' breasts, and all the bodies mutilated in the most 
horrible manner. * * * The dead bodies of females profaned in 
such a manner that the recital is sickening, Colonel J. M. Chiv- 
ington all the time inciting his troops to their diabolical out- 

Another man testified as to what he saw on the 30th of Novem- 
ber, three days after the battle, as follows : 

" I saw a man dismount from his horse and cut the ear from 
the body of an Indian, and the scalp from the head of another. I 
saw a number of children killed ; they had bullet-holes in them ; 
one child had been cut with some sharp instrument across its side. 
I saw another that both ears had been cut off . * * * I saw several 
of the Third Regiment cut off fingers to get the rings off them. 
I saw Major Sayre scalp a dead Indian. The scalp had a long 
tail of silver hanging to it." 

Robert Bent testified : 

" I saw one squaw lying on the bank, whose leg had been bro- 
ken. A soldier came up to her with a drawn sabre. She raised 
her arm to protect herself ; he struck, .breaking her arm. She 
rolled over, and raised her other arm; he struck, breaking that, 


and then left her without killing her. I saw one squaw cut open, 
with an unborn child lying by her side." 

Major Anthony testified : 

" There was one little child, probably three years old, just big 
enough to walk through the sand. The Indians had gone ahead, 
and this little child was behind, following after them. The little 
fellow was perfectly naked, travelling in the sand. I saw one man 
get off his horse at a distance of about seventy-five yards and 
draw up his rifle and fire. He missed the child. Another man 
came up and said, ' Let me try the son of a b . I can hit him.' 
He got down off his horse, kneeled down, and fired at the little 
child, but he missed him. A third man came up, and made a 
similar remark, and fired, and the little fellow dropped." 

The Indians were not able to make much resistance, as only a 
part of them were armed, the United States officers having re- 
quired them to give up their guns. Luckily they had kept a few. 

When this Colorado regiment of demons returned to Denver 
they were greeted with an ovation. The Denver News said : " All 
acquitted themselves well. Colorado soldiers have again covered 
themselves with glory; " and at a theatrical performance given in 
the city, these scalps taken from Indians were held up and ex- 
hibited to the audience, which applauded rapturously. 

After listening, day after day, to such testimonies as these I 
have quoted, and others so much worse that I may not \vrite and 
The Tribune could not print the words needful to tell them, the 
committee reported: " It is difficult to believe that beings in the 
form of men, and disgracing the uniform of United States sol- 
diers and officers, could commit or countenance the commission 
of such acts of cruelty and barbarity; " and of Colonel Chiving- 
ton: u He deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly 
massacre, which would have disgraced the veriest, savage among 
those who were the victims of his cruelty." 

This was just fifteen years ago, no more. Shall we apply the 
same rule of judgment to the white men of Colorado that the 
Government is now applying to the Utes? There are 130,000 in- 
habitants of Colorado; hundreds of them had a hand in this 
massacre, and thousands in cool blood applauded it when it was 
done. There are 4000 Utes in Colorado. Twelve of them, des- 
perate, guilty men, have committed murder and rape, and three 
or four hundred of them did, in the convenient phrase of our 
diplomacy, " go to war against the Government; " z. e., they at- 
tempted, by force of arms, to restrain the entrance upon their own 



lands lands bought, owned and paid for of soldiers thai; the 
Government had sent there, to be ready to make war upon them, 
in case the agent thought it best to do so ! This is the plain Eng- 
lish of it. This is the plain, naked truth of it. 

And now the Secretary of the Interior has stopped the issue of 
rations to 1000 of these helpless creatures ; rations, be it under- 
stood, which are not, and never were, a charity, but are the Utes' 
rightful dues, on account of lands by them sold; dues which the 
Government promised to pay " annually forever." Will the Amer- 
ican people justify this? There is such a thing as the conscience 
of a nation as a nation's sense of justice. Can it not be roused 
to speak now? Shall we sit still, warm and well fed, in our 
homes, while five hundred women and little children are being 
slowly starved in the bleak, barren wildernesses of Colorado? 
Starved, not because storm, or blight, or drouth has visited their 
country and cut off their crops; not because pestilence has laid 
its hand on them and slain the hunters who brought them meat, 
but because it lies within the promise of one man, by one word, 
to deprive them of one-half their necessary food for as long a term 
of years as he may please ; and " the Secretary of the Interior can- 
not consistently feed a tribe that has gone to war against the 

We read in the statutes of the United States that certain things 
may be done by " executive order " of the President. Is it not 
time for a President to interfere when hundreds of women and 
children are being starved in his Republic by the order of one 
man ? Colonel J. M. Chivington's method was less inhuman by 
far. To be shot dead is a mercy, and a grace for which we would 
all sue, if to be starved to death were our only other alternative. 

New York, Jan. 31st, 1880. H. H. 

This letter drew from the former editor of the Rocky Mountain 
News, a Denver newspaper, the following reply : 

To the Editor of the Tribune: 

SIR, In your edition of yesterday appears an article, under the 
above caption, which arraigns the people of Colorado as a com- 
munity of barbarous murderers, and finally elevates them above 
the present Secretary of the Interior, thereby placing the latter 
gentleman in a most unenviable light if the charges averred be 
true. < < The Sand Creek Massacre " of 1864 is made the text and 


burden of the article; its application is to the present condition 
of the White River band of Utes in Colorado. Quotations are 
given from the testimony gathered, and the report made thereon 
by a committee of Congress charged with a so-called investiga- 
tion of the Sand Creek affair. That investigation was made for a 
certain selfish purpose. It was to break down and ruin certain 
men. Evidence was taken upon one side only. It was largely 
false, and infamously partial. There was no answer for the de- 

The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians assembled at Sand Creek 
were not under the protection of a United States fort. A few of 
them had been encamped about Fort Lyon and drawing supplies 
therefrom, but they had gradually disappeared and joined the 
main camp on Dry Sandy, forty miles from the fort, separated 
from it by a waterless desert, and entirely beyond the limit of its 
control or observation. While some of the occupants were still, 
no doubt, occasional visitors at the fort, and applicants for sup- 
plies and ammunition, most of the warriors were engaged in raid- 
ing the great Platte Eiver Road, seventy-five miles farther north, 
robbing and burning trains, stealing cattle and horses, robbing 
and destroying the United States mails, and killing white people. 
During the summer and fall they had murdered over fifty of the 
citizens of Colorado. They had stolen and destroyed provisions 
and merchandise, and driven away stock worth hundreds of 
thousands of dollars. They had interrupted the mails, and for 
thirty-two consecutive days none were allowed to pass then- lines. 
When satiated with murder and arson, and loaded with plunder, 
they would retire to their sacred refuge on Sand Creek to rest 
and refresh themselves, recruit their wasted supplies of ammuni- 
tion from Fort Lyon begged under the garb of gentle, peaceful 
savages and then return to the road to relieve their tired com- 
rades, and riot again in carnage and robbery. These are facts; 
and when the " robbers' roost " was cleaned out, on that sad 
but glorious 27th day of November, 1864, they were sufficiently 
proven. Scalps of white men not yet dried ; letters and photo- 
graphs stolen from the mails; bills of lading and invoices of 
goods; bales and bolts of the goods themselves, addressed to 
merchants in Denver; half- worn clothing of white women and 
children, and many other articles of like character, were found in 
that poetical Indian camp, and recovered by the Colorado sol- 
diers. They were brought to Denver, and those were the scalps 
exhibited in the theatre of that city. There was also an Indian 


saddle-blanket entirely fringed around the edges -with white 
women's scalps, with the long, fair hair attached. There was 
an Indian saddle over the pommel of which was stretched skin 
stripped from the body of a white woman. Is it any wonder that 
soldiers flushed with victory, after one of the hardest campaigns 
ever endured by men, should indulge some of them in unwar- 
ranted atrocities after finding such evidence of barbarism, and 
while more than forty of their comrades were weltering in their 
own blood upon the field? 

If " H. H." had been in Denver in the early part of that sum- 
mer, when the bloated, festering bodies of the Hungate family 
father, mother, and two babes were drawn through the streets 
naked in an ox- wagon, cut, mutilated, and scalped the work of 
those same red fiends who were so justly punished at Sand Creek; 
if, later, " H. H." had seeu an upright and most estimable business 
man go crazy over the news of his son's being tortured to death 
a hundred miles down the Platte, as I did ; if " H. H." had seen 
one-half the Colorado homes made desolate that fateful season, 
and a tithe of the tears that .were caused to flow, I think there 
would have been one little word of excuse for the people of Colo- 
rado more than a doubtful comparison with an inefficient and 
culpable Indian policy. Bear in mind that Colorado had no rail- 
roads then. Her supplies reached her by only one road along 
the Platte in wagons drawn by oxen, mules, or horses. That 
line was in full possession of the enemy. Starvation stared us in 
the face. Hardly a party went or came without some persons be- 
ing killed. In some instances whole trains were cut off and de- 
stroyed. Sand Creek saved Colorado, and taught the Indians the 
most salutary lesson they had ever learned. And now, after fif- 
teen years, and here in the shadow of the Nation's Capitol, with 
the spectre of " H. H.'s " condemnation staring me in the face, I 
am neither afraid nor ashamed to repeat the language then used 
by The Denver News : All acquitted themselves well. Colorado 
soldiers have again covered themselves with glory." 

Thus much of history is gone over by " H. H." to present in 
true dramatic form the deplorable condition of the White River 
Utes, 1000 in number, who are now suffering the pangs of hunger 
and the discomfort of cold in the wilds of Western Colorado, 
without any kind agent to issue rations, provide blankets, or 
build fires for them. It is really too bad. A painful dispensa- 
tion of Providence has deprived them of their best friend, and 
they are desolate and bereaved. He placed his life and its best 


efforts, his unbounded enthusiasm for their good, his great Chris- 
tian heart all at their service. But an accident befell him, and 
he is no more. The coroner's jury that sat upon his remains 
found that his dead body had a barrel stave driven into his 
mouth, a log-chain around his neck, by which it had been 
dragged about like a dead hog, and sundry bullet-holes through 
his body. The presumption was that from the effect of some one 
of these accidents he died ; and, alas 1 he is no longer to serve out 
weekly rations to his flock of gentle Utes. There is no sorrow 
over his death or the desolation it wrought, but there is pity, 
oceans of pity, for the Indians who are hungry and cold. True, 
at the time he died they took the flour, the pork, and salt, and 
coffee, and sugar, and tobacco, and blankets, and all the other 
supplies that he would have issued to them through all this long 
winter had he lived. With his care these would, have lasted un- 
til spring, and been sufficient for their wants; but, without it, 
" H. H." is suspicious that they are all gone, and yet it is but just 
past the middle of winter. Can " H. H." tell why this is thus? 
It is also true that they drove away the large herd of cattle from 
the increase of which that same unfortunate agent and his prede- 
cessors had supplied them with beef for eleven years past, and yet 
the consumption did not keep pace with the natural increase. 
They took them all, and are presumed to have them now. True, 
again, they had at the beginning of winter, or at the period of the 
melancholy loss of their best friend, about 4000 horses that were 
rolling fat, and three acres of dogs not bad food in an emer- 
gency, or for an Indian thanksgiving feast some of which should 
still remain. 


But " H. H." intimates that there is an alleged excuse for with- 
holding rations from these poor, persecuted red angels. " Twelve " 
of them have been bad, and the tyrant at the head of the Interior 
Department is systematically starving all of the 1000 who con- 
stitute the band, and their 4000 horses, and 1800 cattle, and three 
acres of dogs, and six months' supplies, because those twelve bad 
Indians cannot conscientiously pick themselves out and be offered 
np as a burnt-offering and a sacrifice to appease the wrath of an 
outraged and partly civilized nation. This is the present indict- 
ment, and the Secretary and the President are commanded to 
stand up and plead " Guilty or not guilty, but you know you are 
guilty, d n you." Now I challenge and defy "H. H.," or any 


other person living, to pick out or name twelve White River male 
TJtes, over sixteen years of age, who were not guilty, directly or 
indirectly, as principals or accomplices before the fact, in the 
Thornburgh attack or in the Agency massacre. I know these 
Indians well enough to know that these attacks were perfectly 
understood and deliberately planned. I cannot be made to be- 
lieve that a single one of them, of common-sense and intelligence, 
was ignorant of what was to take place, and that knowledge ex- 
tended far beyond the White River band. There were plenty of 
recruits from both the Los Pinos and the Uiutali bands. In with- 
holding supplies from the White River Utes the Secretary of the 
Interior is simply obeying the law. He cannot, except upon his 
own personal responsibility, issue supplies to a hostile Indian 
tribe, and the country will hold him accountable for a departure 
from his line of duty. Inferential^ the Indians are justified by 
"H. E." in their attack upon Thornburgh's command. Their 
object was to defend "their own lands lands bought, owned, 
and paid for." Bought of whom, pray ? Paid for by whom ? 
To whom was payment made? The soldiers were making no 
attack; they contemplated none. The agent had no authority 
to order an attack. He could not proclaim war. He could have 
no control whatever over the troops. But his life was in danger. 
The honor of his family was at stake. He asked for protection. 
" H. H." says he had no right to it. His life and the honor of 
his aged wife and of his virgin daughter are gone, and " H. H." 
is the champion of fiends who wrought the ruin. 

Washington, D. 0., Feb. 6th, 1880. 

The most fitting reply to the assertions in this extraordinary 
document was by still further citations from the sworn testimony 
given before the Congressional committees evidence with which 
volumes could have been filled. 

To flie Editor of the Tribune: 

SIR, In reply to the letter in Sunday's Tribune, headed " The 
Starving Utes," I would like to place before the readers of The 
Tribune some extracts from sworn testimony taken in Colorado 
on the subject of the Sand Creek massacre. The writer of this 
letter says: 

"The Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians assembled at Sand 
Creek were not under the protection of a United States fort.'' 


The following testimony is that of Lieutenant Craven, Senate 
Document, vol. ii., 1866-67, p. 46: 

"I had some conversation with Major Downing, Lieutenant 
Maynard, and Colonel Chivington. I stated to them my feelings 
in regard to the matter that I believed it to be murder and 
stated the obligations that we of Major Wynkoop's command 
were under to those Indians. 

"To Colonel Chivington I know I stated that Major Wynkoop 
had pledged his word as an officer and man to those Indians, and 
that all officers under him were indirectly pledged in the same 
manner that he was, and that I felt that it was placing us in 
very embarrassing circumstances to fight the same Indians that 
had saved our lives, as we all felt that they had. 

" Colonel Chivington 's reply was that he believed it to be right 
and honorable to use any means under God's heaven to kill Indians 
that would kill women and children ; and, * damn any one that 
was in sympathy with Indians;' and, 'such men as Major Wyn- 
koop and myself had better get out of the United States service.' " 

This conversation was testified to by other witnesses. Major 
Wynkoop, it will be remembered, was the officer in command at 
Fort Lyon when this band of Cheyenues and Arapahoes came in 
there to claim protection, in consequence of the governor's proc- 
lamation, saying that, 

" All friendly Arapahoes and Cheyennes, belonging on the Ar- 
kansas River, will go to Major Colby, United States Indian Agent 
at Fort Lyon, who will give them provisions and show them a 
place of safety." 

Major Wynkoop was succeeded in the command of Fort Lyon 
by Major Anthony, who continued for a time to issue rations to 
these Indians, as Major Wynkoop had done; but after a time he 
called them together and told them he could not feed them any 
longer; they would better go where they could hunt. He selected 
the place to which they were to move on Sandy Creek. They obeyed, 
and he gave back to them some of the arms which had been taken 
away. They were moved to Sandy Creek, about forty miles from 
Fort Lyon, partly "for fear of some conflict between them and 
the soldiers or emigrants," Fort Lyon being on a thoroughfare of 
travel. One of the chiefs One Eye was hired by Major An- 
thony at $125 a month " to obtain information for the use of the 
military authorities. Several times he brought news to the fort 
of proposed movements of hostile Indians." This chief was 
killed in the massacre. 


This is the testimony of Captain Soule, First Colorado Cavalry: 

" Did you protest against attacking those Indians? " 

" I did." 

' Who was your commanding officer? " 

"Major Anthony." 

" Did you inform Major Anthony of the relations existing with 
Black Kettle?" 

"I did. He knew the relations. I frequently talked to him 
about it." 

" What answer did Major Anthony make to your protests ? " 

* He said that we were going to fight the hostile Indians at 
Smoky Hill. He also said that he was in for killing all Indians, 
and that he had only been acting friendly with them until he 
could get a force large enough to go out and kill all of them." 

This is the testimony of S. E. Brown: 

" Colonel Chivington in a public speech said his policy was to 
kill and scalp all, little and big: nits made lice." 

Governor Hunt testified as follows: [Governor Hunt was one 
of the earliest settlers in Colorado. He was United States Mar- 
shal, Delegate to Congress, and afterward Governor of the Terri- 

" We have always regarded Black Kettle and White Antelope 
as the special friends of the white man ever since I have been in 
this country." 

" Do you know of any acts of hostility committed by them or 
with their consent? " 

"No, sir, I do not." 

" Did you ever hear any acts of hostility attributed to them by 
any one?" 

"No, sir."*** 

The following extract is: 

" The regiment, when they marched into Denver, exhibited 
Indian scalps." 

This is from the official report of Major Wynkoop, major com- 
manding Fort Lyon. 

" In conclusion, allow me to say that, from the time I held the 
consultation with the Indian chiefs on the head-waters of Smoky 
Hill up to the date of this massacre by Colonel Chivington, not 
one single depredation had been committed by the Cheyenne and 
Arapahoe Indians. The settlers of the Arkansas Valley had re- 
turned to their ranches, from which they had fled, had taken in 
their crops, and had been resting in perfect security under assur- 


ances from myself that they would be in no danger for the pres- 
ent. Since this last horrible murder by Colonel Chivington the 
country presents a scene of desolation. All communication is 
cut ofE with the States, except by sending large bodies of troops, 
and already over a hundred whites have fallen victims to the 
fearful vengeance of these betrayed Indians." 
January 15th, 1865. 

The writer of this letter says, in regard to the investigation of 
the Sand Creek massacre by the Congressional committee, that 
" evidence was taken upon one side only," and "there was no 
answer for the defence." 

A large part of the testimony is sworn evidence, given by the 
Governor of Colorado, by Colonel J. M. Chivington himself, who 
planned and executed the massacre, and by Major Anthony, who 
accompanied him with troops from Fort Lyon. The writer of 
this article says that " the investigation was made for a certain 
selfish purpose, * * * to break down - and ruin certain men." 

The names of Senator Foster, Senator Doolittle, and "honest 
Ben Wade " are the best refutation of this statement. It will be 
hard to impeach the trustworthiness of reports signed by these 
names, and one of these reports says: 

" It is difficult to believe that beings in the form of men, and 
disgracing the uniform of United States soldiers and officers, 
could commit or countenance the commission of such acts of 
cruelty and barbarity." 

Of Colonel Chivington, it says: 

"He deliberately planned and executed a foul and dastardly 
massacre, which would have disgraced the veriest savage among 
those .who were the victims of his cruelty." 

And of Major Anthony: 

" The testimony of Major Anthony, who succeeded an officer 
disposed to treat these Indians with justice and humanity, is suffi- 
cient of itself to show how unprovoked and unwarranted was this 
massacre. He testifies that he found these Indians camped near 
Fort Lyon when he assumed command of that fort; that they pro- 
fessed their friendliness to the whites, and their willingness to do 
whatever he demanded of them ; that they delivered their arms 
up to him ; that they went to and encamped on the place desig- 
nated by him; that they gave him information from time to time 
of acts of hostility which were meditated by other hostile bands, 
and in every way conducted themselves properly and peaceably; 



and yet he says it was fear and not principle which prevented his 
killing them while they were completely in his power; and, when 
Colonel Chivington appeared at Fort Lyon on his mission of 
murder and barbarity, Major Anthony made haste to accompany 
him with men and artillery." 

The writer of this letter says that the evidence given in this 
" so-called investigation " was " largely false and infamously par- 
tial." If this were the case, why did not all persons so " infa- 
mously " slandered see to it that before the year ended their own 
version of the affair should reach, if not the general public, at 
least the Department of the Interior? Why did they leave it 
possible for the Secretary of the Interior to incorporate in his 
Annual Report for 1865 to be read by all the American people 
these paragraphs'? 

" No official account has ever reached this office from its own 
proper sources of the most disastrous and shameful occurrence, 
the massacre of a large number of men, women, and children of 
the Indians of this agency (the Upper Arkansas) by the troops 
under the command of Colonel Chivington of the United States 
Volunteer Cavalry of Colorado. * * * 

u When several hundred of them had come into a place desig- 
nated by Governor Evans as a rendezvous for those who would 
separate themselves from the hostile parties, these Indians were 
set upon and butchered in cold blood by troops in the service of 
the United States. The few who escaped to the northward told 
a story which effectually prevented any more advances toward 
peace by such of the bands as were well disposed." 

And why did the Government of the United States empower 
General Sanborn, in the Council held October 12th, 1865, with the 
Arapahoes and Cheyennes, including the remnants of bands that 
had escaped from the Sand Creek massacre, to formally and offi- 
cially repudiate the action of the United States soldiers in that 
massacre? General Sanborn said, in this council: 

" We all feel disgraced and ashamed when we see our officers 
or soldiers oppressing the weak, or making war on those who are 
at peace with us. * * * We are willing, as representatives of the 
President, to restore all the property lost at Sand Creek, or its 
value. * * * He has sent out his commissioners to make reparation, 
as far as we can. * * * So heartily do we repudiate the actions of 
our soldiers that we are willing to give to the chiefs in their own 
right 320 acres of land each, to hold as his own forever, and to 
each of the children and squaws who lost Lusbands or parent*,- 


we are also willing to give 160 acres of land as their own, to keep 
as long as they live." 

The writer of this letter, quoting the statement from a previous 
article in The Tribune, that the White River Utes, in their attack 
on Major Thornburgh's command, fought "to defend their own 
lands lands bought, owned, and paid for," asks: 

" Bought of whom, pray ? Paid for by whom ? To whom was 
payment made?" 

"Bought" of the United States Government, thereby recog- 
nizing the United States Government's right to " the sovereignty 
of the soil" as superior to the Indians' "right of occupancy." 

" Paid for " by the Ute Indians, by repeated relinquishments " 
of said 4 'right of occupancy" in large tracts of valuable lands; 
notably by the " relinquishment," according to the B/unot Treaty 
of 1873, of 4,000,000 acres of valuable lands, " unquestionably 
rich in mineral deposits." Annual Report of the Secretary of the 
Interior for 1873, p. 464. 

" To whom was payment made ? " 

To the United States Government, which has accepted and 
ratified such exchanges of "right of occupancy" for "right of 
sovereignty," and such sales of "right of occupancy" for large 
sums of money by repeated and reiterated treaties. 

The Secretary of the Interior has incorporated in his Annual 
Report for 1879 (in the report on Indian Affairs, p. 36) the 
following paragraphs: 

" Let it be fully understood that the Ute Indians have a good 
and sufficient title to 12,000,000 acres of land in Colorado, and 
that these Indians did not thrust themselves in the way of the 
white people, but that they were originally and rightfully pos- 
sessors of the soil, and that the land they occupy has been 
acknowledged to be theirs by solemn treaties made with them by 
the United States. 

"It will not do to say that a treaty with an Indian means 
nothing. It means even more than the pledge of the Govern- 
ment to pay a bond. It is the most solemn declaration that 
any government of any people ever enters into. Neither will 
it do to say that treaties never ought to have been made with 
Indians. That question is now not in order, as the treaties 
have been made, and must be lived up to whether convenient or 

" By beginning at the outset with the full acknowledgment of 
the absolute and indefeasible right of these Indians to 12,000,000 


acres in Colorado, we can properly consider what is the best 
method of extinguishing the Indian title thereto without injus^ 
tice to the Indians, and without violating the plighted faith oi 
the Government of the United States." 

The writer of this letter says: 

"In withholding supplies from the White River Utes, the 
Secretary of the Interior is simply obeying the law. He cannot, 
except upon his own personal responsibility, issue supplies to a 
hostile Indian tribe." 

Secretary Schurz has published, in the Annual Eeport of the 
Department of the Interior for 1879, the following paragraph in 
regard to this case of the White River Utes: 

" The atrocity of the crimes committed should not prevent 
those individuals who are innocent from being treated as such, 
according to Article 17 of the treaty, viz. : Provided, that if auy 
chief of either of the confederated bands make war against the 
United States, or in any manner violate this treaty in any essen- 
tial part, said chief shall forf eit his position as chief, and all rights 
to any of the benefits of this treaty ; but, provided further, any 
Indian of either of these confederated bands who shall remain at 
peace, and abide by the terms of this treaty in all its essentials, 
shall be entitled to its benefits and provisions, notwithstanding 
his particular chief and band have forfeited their rights thereto." 

The writer of this letter says, in allusion to the murders and 
outrages committed by some of the White River Utes, that " H. H. 
is the champion of the fiends who wrought the ruin." Have the 
readers of The Tribune so understood my protests against the 
injustice of punishing the innocent for the crimes of the guilty ? 

H. H. 

New York, Peb. 22d, 1880. 

This letter was followed by a card from Mr. Byers, reiterating 
some of his assertions ; and by a second short letter, which closed 
the discussion* 

To the Editor of the Tribune: 

SIE, I ask only a little space for reference to the communica- 
tion of " H. H." in to-day's Tribune. It isasked,. " If the investi- 
gation of the Sand Creek affair was so unfair, why did not the 
people of Colorado correct the false impression by presenting 
their own version of the case?" The answer is that the case 
was prejudged, and we were denied a hearing in our defence. 


The inference is conveyed in to-day's article that Indian hostil- 
ities on the plains were provoked by and followed after the Sand 
Creek massacre. We, who were so unfortunate as to be citizens 
of Colorado at the time, know that a very great majority of the 
savage atrocities of that period occurred before the battle of Sand 
Creek. We know that the Sand Creek Indian camp was the 
common rendezvous of the hostile bands who were committing 
those atrocities. We know that comparatively few occurred after- 
ward. No amount of special pleading, no reiteration of partial 
statements, and withholding of more important truths, will change 
the facts so well known to the earlier settlers of Colorado. 

I deny that the Utes have either bought or paid for any land. 
They have relinquished for a consideration a certain portion of 
the land they formerly claimed, and still retain the other portion. 
I deny, also, that only twelve of the White Kiver Utes are guilty 
and the great mass of them innocent. The contrary is the fact 


New York, Feb. 24th, 1880. 

To the Editor of the Tribune: 

SIR, In reply to the assertion that the perpetrators of the Sand 
Creek massacre were " denied a hearing in their defence," I wish 
to state to the readers of The Tribune that, in addition to the Con- 
gressional committees from whose reports I have already quoted, 
there was appointed a Military Commission to investigate that 
massacre. This commission sat seventy-three days, in Denver 
and at Fort Lyon. Colonel J. M. Chivington called before it, in 
his " defence," all the witnesses he chose, and gave notice on 
the seventy-third day of the commission's sitting that he did not 
"wish to introduce any more witnesses for the defence." He 
also had (and used) the privilege of cross-examining every wit- 
ness called by the commission. The evidence given before this 
commission occupies over two hundred pages of Volume II. , Sen- 
ate Documents for 1866-'67. 

In reply to the assertion that " a great majority of the savage 
atrocities of that period occurred before " the massacre at Sand 
Creek, and that " comparatively few occurred after," I will give 
to the readers of The Tribune one extract from the report of the 
Indian Peace Commission of 1868. Alluding to the Sand Creek 
massacre, the report says: 

" It scarcely has its parallel in the records of Indian barbarity. 
Fleeing women, holding up their hands and praying for mercy, 


were shot down ; infants were killed and scalped in derision ; 
men were tortured and mutilated in a manner that would put to 
shame the savages of interior Africa. No one will be astonished 
that a war ensued which cost the Government $30,000,000, and 
carried conflagration and death into the border settlements. 
During the spring and summer of 1865 no less than 8000 troops 
were withdrawn from the effective forces engaged in the Kebellion 
to meet this Indian war." 

The Commissioners who made this report were N. J. Taylor, 
President; J. B. Henderson, John B. Sanborn, William T. Sher- 
man, Lieutenant-general ; William S. Harvey, Brevet Major-gen- 
eral; Alfred H. Terry, Brevet Major-general; C. C. Augur, Brevet 
Major-general; S- F. Tappan. 

In reply to the assertion that the Utes have not " either bought 
or paid for any land," I will ask such of The Tribune readers as 
are interested in the subject to read the "Brunot Treaty," made 
September 13th, 1873, "between Felix R. Brunot, Commissioner 
for the United States, and the chiefs, headmen, and men" of the 
seven confederated bands of Utes. Tt is to be found in the report 
of the Department of the Interior for 1873, p. 454. 

In conclusion of the discussion as to the Sand Creek massacre, 
I will relate one more incident of that terrible day. It has not 
been recorded in any of the reports. It was told in Colorado, to 
one of the members of the Senate Committee at the time of their 
investigation : One of the squaws had escaped from the village, 
and was crouching behind some low sage brush. A frightened 
horse came running toward her hiding-place, its owner in hot 
pursuit. Seeing that the horse was making directly for her shel- 
ter, and that she would inevitably be seen, and thinking that pos- 
sibly if she caught the horse, and gave him back to the owner, 
she might thus save her life, she ran after the horse, caught it, 
and stood holding it till the soldier came up. Remembering that 
with her blanket rolled tight around her she might possibly be 
taken for a man, as she put into the soldier's hand the horse's bri- 
dle, with the other hand she threw open her blanket enough to 
show her bosom, that he might see that she was a woman. He 
put the muzzle of his pistol between her breasts and shot her 
dead; and afterward was " not ashamed " to boast of the act. It 
was by such deeds as this that "the Colorado soldiers acquitted 
themselves well, and covered themselves with glory." H. H. 

"New York, Feb. 28th, 1880. 



Extract from Treaty with the Poncas, giving them Dakota Lands. 

"ART. II. In consideration of the cession or release of that 
portion of the reservation above described by the Ponca tribe of 
Indians to the Government of the United States, the Government 
of the United States, by way of rewarding them for their constant 
fidelity to the Government thereof, and with a view of returning 
to the said tribe of Ponca Indians their old burying-grounds and 
cornfields, hereby cede and relinquish to the tribe of Ponca In- 
dians the following described fractional townships, to wit, town- 
ship thirty-one (31), north range, seven (7) west; also fractional 
township thirty-two (32), north ranges, six (6), seven (7), eight (8), 
nine (9), and ten (10) west; also fractional township thirty-three 
(33), north ranges, seven (7) and eight (8) west; and also all that 
portion of township thirty-three (33), north ranges, nine (9) and 
ten (10) west, lying south of Ponca Creek ; and also all the islands 
in the Niobrara or Kunning Water River lying in front of lands 
or townships above ceded by the United States to the Ponca tribe 
of Indians." 

A correspondence which was held with the Secretary of the 
Interior in the winter of 1879, in regard to the Poncas, is so ex- 
cellent an illustration of the methods and policy of the Interior 
Department that it is worth while to give it at length here. 


New York, Friday, Jan, 9th, 1880. 
To the Secretary of the Interior : 

DEAR SIR, I have received from a Boston lady a letter which 
has so important a bearing on the interests of the Poncas that I 
take the liberty of asking you to read and reply to the following 
extracts. I send them to you with the writer's permission: 

" In Boston most of those who are likely to give most largely 
and feel most strongly for the Indians have confidence in Secre- 
tary Schurz. They think that so far he has shown himself their 
friend, and they feel unprepared to help any plan with regard to 
the Indians which he opposes. The greatest service which could 


be rendered to the Indian cause at present would be given, there- 
fore, by some one sufficiently interested to obtain an answer who 
would write to Secretary Schurz, and request him, on the part of 
the Indians, either to aid them by publicly and cordially endors- 
ing this effort of the Poncas to secure their legal rights in the 
courts, or else to give his reasons against this attempt, in so clear 
a form that one could understand them. If there are good rea- 
sons, there can be no ground for keeping them secret, and the 
public has a right to know them. If not, no man can call him- 
self a friend of the Indians who throws cold water on the present 
interest of the public in this matter. 

"Secretary Schurz has already stated that it was not worth 
while to sue for the Ponca lands, as the Poncas are better off 
where they now are ; but Secretary Schurz cannot deny that it is 
worth ten times $10,000 to prove that if the Government seizes 
land given to the Indians forever by solemn compact, the latter 
can by the courts recover it. Secretary Schurz has also said that 
a bill to give the Indians land in severalty is already before Con- 
gress. If he wishes that bill to pass he must know that it is only 
by help of the people that the ignorance, apathy, and greed which 
are accountable for the shameful record of the past can be over- 
come ; and that, whatever his sentiments toward these particular 
Poncas, he cannot afford to throw aside the interest they have 

" For a hundred years the Indians have been the victims of 
fraud and oppression on the part of the Government. Will any- 
thing put au end to it but to give the Indians the legal right to 
protect themselves? Promises and plans will not do it, for who 
can assure their performance ? Secretary Schurz's position is a 
strange one, and the public are waiting and watching to see what 
it means. Is it possible that he is satisfied to have 250,000 hu- 
man beings, with valuable possessions (however uncivilized), held 
as absolute slaves, with no rights, and at the mercy of a govern- 
ment like ours, whose constant changes, to say the least, render 
most improbable the wise, equitable, and humane treatment he 
recommends in his report and when the distance of the Indian 
from the personal interests of all but those States which have a 
personal interest in possessing his lands makes the assistance of 
Congress in such treatment still more unlikely? I cannot but 
believe that he has allowed himself to be driven into an oppo- 
sition he does not really feel ; and that he will yet have the 
magnanimity to forget any criticism on his own acts, and take 


the lead with those who would try to give the Indians a perma- 
nent defence against the vicissitudes of party and the greed of 
mep,. ^ 

"" 1 will not forget to add that if the three thousand and odd 
hundreds of dollars needed to complete the ten thousand re- 
quired to pay the costs of the Ponca suits cannot be raised in the 
great city of New York, I will myself guarantee to raise it in Bos- 
ton in twenty-four hours if Secretary Schurz will openly endorse 
the plan." 

The matter stands, therefore, in this shape: If you can say that 
you approve of the Poncas bringing the suits they wish to bring 
for the recovery of their lands, all the money for which they ask 
can be placed in their hands immediately. The writer of the 
above letter assured me that she would herself give the entire 
sum if there were any difficulty in raising it. If you do not ap- 
prove of the Poncas bringing these suits, or making an effort to 
bring them, are you willing to give the reasons of your disap- 
proval? It would be a great satisfaction to those Boston friends 
of yours whose action in this matter tarns solely on your decision, 
if these reasons could be stated in clear and explicit form. 

Yours respectfully, HELEN JACKSON. 

Department of the Interior, Office of the Secretary, Jan. 17th, 1880. 

DEAR MADAM, I should certainly have answered your letter 
of the 9th instant more promptly had I not been somewhat over- 
burdened with official business during the past week. I hope 
you will kindly pardon the involuntary delay. 

As I understand the matter, money is being collected for the 
purpose of engaging counsel to appear for the Poncas in the 
courts of the United States, partly to represent them in the case of 
an appeal from Judge Dundy's habeas corpus decision, and partly 
to procure a decision for the recovery of their old reservation on 
the Missouri Kiver. I believe that the collection of money for 
these purposes is useless. An appeal from Judge Dundy's Tia- 
leas corpus decision can proceed only from the Government, not 
from the Poncas, for the simple reason that the decision was in 
favor of the latter. An appeal was, indeed, entered by the United 
States District- attorney at Omaha immediately after the decision 
had been announced. Some time ago his brief was submitted to 
me. On examining it, I concluded at once to advise the attorney- 
general of my opinion that it should be dropped, as I could not 


approve the principles upon which the argument was based. The 
attorney-general consented to instruct the district-attorney ac- 
cordingly, and thus Judge Dundy's decision stands without fur- 
ther question on the part of the Government. Had an appeal 
been prosecuted, and had Judge Dundy's decision been sustained 
by the court above, the general principles involved in it would 
simply have been affirmed without any other practical effect than 
that already obtained. This matter is therefore ended. 

As to the right of the Poncas to their old reservation on the 
Missouri, the Supreme Court has repeatedly decided that an In- 
dian tribe cannot sue the United States or a State in the federal 
courts. The decisions are clear and uniform on this point. 
Among lawyers with whom I discussed this matter, I have not 
found a single one who entertained a different view ; but I did 
find among them serious doubts as to whether a decision, even if 
the Poncas could bring suits, would be in their favor, considering 
the facts in the case. But, inasmuch as such a suit cannot be 
brought at all, this is not the question. It is evidently idle to 
collect money and to fee attorneys for the purpose of doing a 
thing which cannot be done. Had the disinterested friends of 
the Indians who are engaged in this work first consulted lawyers 
on the question of possibility, they would no doubt have come to 
the same conclusion. 

The study I have given to the Indian question in its various 
aspects, past and present, has produced in my mind the firm con- 
viction that the only certain way to secure the Indians in their 
possessions, and to prevent them from becoming forever a race of 
homeless paupers and vagabonds, is to transform their tribal title 
into individual title, inalienable for a certain period; in other 
words, to settle them in severalty, and give them by patent an 
individual fee-simple in their lands. Then they will hold their 
lands by the same title by which white men hold theirs, and they 
will, as a matter of course, have the same standing in the courts, 
and the same legal protection of their property. As long as they 
hold large tracts in the shape of reservations, only small parts of 
which they can make useful to themselves and to others, the 
whole being held by the tribe in common, their tenure will al- 
ways be insecure. It will grow more and more so as our popula- 
tion increases, and the quantity of available land diminishes. We 
may call this an ugly and deplorable fact, but it is a fact for all 
that. Long experience shows that the protests of good people 
in the name of justice and humanity have availed but very little 


against this tendency, and it is useless to disguise and unwise to 
overlook it, if we mean to do a real service to the Titans. 

For this reason I attach much more importance to the passage 
of legislation providing for the settlement of the Indians in sever- 
alty, and giving them individual title in fee-simple, the residue of 
their lands not occupied by them to be disposed of for their ben- 
efit, than to all the efforts, however well intended, to procure ju- 
dicial decisions which, as I have shown, cannot be had. I am 
glad to say that the conversations I have had with senators and 
representatives in Congress on the policy of settling the Indians 
in severalty have greatly encouraged my hope of the success of 
the " severalty bill " during the present session. 

I need not repeat here what I said in a letter to Mr. Edward 
Atkinson, which you may possibly have seen some time ago in 
the Boston papers, about the necessity of educating Indian chil- 
dren. You undoubtedly understand that as well as I do, and I 
hope you will concur in my recommendation that the money col- 
lected for taking the Ponca case into the courts, which is impos- 
sible of accomplishment, and as much more as can be added, be 
devoted to the support and enlargement of our Indian schools, 
such as those at Hampton and Carlisle. Thus a movement which 
undoubtedly has the hearty sympathy of many good men and 
women, but which at present seems in danger of being wasted on 
the unattainable, may be directed into a practical channel, and 
confer a real and lasting benefit on the Indian race. 

Very respectfully yours, 


Mrs. HELEN JACKSON, New York. 


Brevoort House, New York, Thursday, Jan. 22d, 1880. 
Hon. Carl Schurz: 

DEAR SIR, Your letter of the 17th instant is at hand. If I 
understand this letter correctly, the position which you take is 
as follows : That there is in your opinion, and in the opinion of 
the lawyers whom you have consulted on the subject, no way of 
bringing before the courts the suits for the prosecution of which 
money has been and is being contributed by the friends of the 
Poncas; that the reason you do not approve of this movement 
is that " it is evidently idle to collect money and to fee attorneys 
for the purpose of doing a thing which cannot be done* " This is 


the sole reason which I understand you to give for discountenanc. 
ing the collection of money for these suits. Am I correct in this? 
And are we to infer that it is on this ground and no other that 
you oppose the collection of money for this purpose? Are we to 
understand that you would be in favor of the Poncas recovering 
their lands by process of law, provided it were practicable ? 

You say, also, that you hope I will " concur " in your " recom- 
mendation that the money collected for taking the Ponca case 
into the courts shall be devoted to the support and enlargement 
of our Indian schools." May I ask how it would be, in your opin- 
ion, possible to take money given by thousands of people for one 
specific purpose and use it for another different purpose? You 
say* " Had the friends of the Indians who are engaged in this 
work first consulted lawyers on the question of possibility, they 
would, no doubt, have come to the same conclusion." Had the 
friends of the Indians engaged iu this work, and initiated this 
movement without having consulted lawyers, it would have been 
indeed foolish. But this was not the case. Lawyers of skill and 
standing were found ready to undertake the case ; and the mat- 
ter stands therefore to-day precisely as it stood when I wrote to 
you on the 17th instant. All the money which is thought to be 
needed for carrying the Ponca case before the courts can be raised 
in twenty-four hours in Boston, if you can say that you approve 
of the suits being brought. If your only objection to the move- 
ment is the one objection which you have stated, namely, that it 
would be futile, can you not say that, if lawyers of standing are 
ready to undertake the case, you would be glad to see the at- 
tempt made in the courts, and the question settled? If it is, as 
you think, a futile effort, it will be shown to be so. If it is, as the 
friends and lawyers of the Poncas think, a practicable thing, a 
great wrong will be righted. 

You say that " to settle them (the Indians) in severalty, and 
give them by patent an individual fee-simple in their lands, " will 
enable them to " hold their lands by the same title by which white 
men hold theirs," and that " then they will, as a matter of course, 
have the same standing in the courts and the same legal protec- 
tion of their property." May I ask you if any bill has been 
brought before Congress which is so worded as to secure these 
ends? ^ My only apology for troubling you again is my deep in- 
terest in the Indians, and in the Ponca case especially. 

Yours truly, 




Wasliington, D. C., Jan. 26th, 1880. 

DEAR MADAM, In reply to your letter of the 22d instant, I beg 
leave to say that if an Indian tribe could maintain an action in 
the courts of the United States to assert its rights, I should ob- 
ject to it just as little as I would object to the exercise of the 
same privilege on the part of white men. What I do object to is 
the collection of money from philanthropic and public-spirited 
persons, ostensibly for the benefit of the Indians, but in fact for 
the benefit of attorneys and others who are to be paid for again 
testing a question which has been tested more than once, and has 
been decided by the Supreme Court so clearly and comprehen- 
sively that further testing seems utterly futile. You say that 
there are lawyers of skill and standing ready to undertake the 
case. Of course there are such. You can find lawyers of skill 
and standing to undertake for a good fee any case, however hope- 
less : that is their business. But I am by no means of your opin- 
ion that, whether it be futile or not, the experiment should be 
tried once more, and for this purpose the collection of money 
should be further encouraged. It cannot be said in this case that 
if the attempt will not help it will not hurt. There seems to be 
now a genuine and active interest in the Indian question spring- 
ing up. Many sincere friends of the Indian are willing to spend 
time and money for the promotion of their welfare. Such a 
movement can do great good if wisely guided in the direction 
of attainable objects; but if it be so conducted that it can result 
only in putting money into the pockets of private individuals, 
without any benefit to the Indians, the collapse will be as hurtful 
as it seems to be inevitable. It will not only be apt to end a 
movement which, if well directed, might have become very use- 
. ful, but it will also deter the sincere friends of the Indians who 
contributed their means in the hope of accomplishing something 
from further efforts of that kind, so that we may find it very diffi- 
cult, for a long time at least, to engage this active sympathy again. 
Confidence once abused does not revive very quickly. This is my 
view of the case. You ask me " how it would be possible to take 
money given by thousands of people for one specific purpose, and 
use it for another and different purpose," meaning the support of 
Indian schools. It would, in my opinion, be far better to lay the 
matter in its true aspect frankly before the contributors, and to 


ask them for their consent to the change of purpose, than to throw 
away the money for a purpose which cannot be accomplished. 

In reply to your inquiry whether any bill has been brought be- 
fore Congress providing for the settlement of the Indians in sev- 
eralty, and for conferring upon the individual title in fee-simple 
to the lands allotted to them, I am glad to say that several bills 
of this kind have been introduced in both the Senate and the 
House, and are now before the respective committees on Indian 
affairs for consideration. If such a bill passes, of which there is 
great hope, the Indian, having a fee title by patent to the piece 
of land which he individually, not as a member of a tribe, holds 
as his own, will stand in the eye of the law just like any other 
owner of property in his individual right, and, as a matter of 
course, will have the same standing in court. This will do more 
in securing the Indian in the practical enjoyment of his property 
than anything else I can think of, and it has long been my en- 
deavor to bring about just this result. I trust we shall obtain 
the desired legislation during the present session of Congress. 
Very respectfully yours, C. SCHUBZ. 

Mrs. HELEN JACKSON, New York. 

The evasive and inconclusive character of these replies of the 
Secretary provoked much comment, and gave rise to a very wide- 
spread and natural impression that he was for some reason or 
other averse to the restoration to the Poncas of their old homes. 
The letters were reviewed by one of the editors of the New York 
Times in a paper so admirable that the letters ought not to be 
printed without it. 

(From the New York Times, February 21st, 3880.) 

" As most of the readers of the Times already know, friends of 
the Potica Indians are endeavoring to have the tribe restored to 
their old reservation in Dakota. Or, more strictly speaking, it is 
proposed that their reservation shall be restored to them. The 
lands occupied by the Poncas were ceded to them by the United 
States by solemn treaty. By a cruel and wicked blunder, which 
no man has attempted to explain, those lands were ceded to the 
Sioux. But the Sioux did not want the lands, and they have 
never occupied them unto this day. To this robbery of the tribe 
was added the destruction of their houses, movable property, and 
farms. A citizen of the United States would have redress in the 


courts for such an outrage as this. An Indian has no legal status. 
He is merely a live and particularly troublesome animal, in the 
eye of the law. But, while the Poncas were trying to get hack 
on their lands, they were arrested hy order of the Secretary of 
the Interior, on the charge of running away from the agency to 
which they had been sent by the Govern inent when their lands 
were taken from them. It is not necessary to add words to in- 
tensify this accumulation of criminal folly and wrong. Certain 
citizens of Nebraska, hearing of the injustice which was be- 
ing perpetrated on the Poncas, raised funds, and had the chiefs 
brought before United States District Judge Dundy on a writ of 
habeas corpus^ to inquire why they were thus restrained of their 
liberty. Judge Dundy decided that an Indian was 'a person' 
within the meaning of the Habeas Corpus Act, and that these 
persons were unlawfully held in duress. 

"It was thought that the United States would appeal from 
this dictum, but no appeal was taken, much to the disappoint- 
ment of the friends of the Indians, as it was hoped that a decision 
could be reached to show whether the Indian was or was not so 
far clothed with the privilege of a citizen that he could have a 
standing in the courts of law. Accordingly, the public-spirited 
and philanthropic persons who had espoused the cause of the 
Poncas resolved to make up a case, which, carried to the United 
States Supreme Court, should determine once and forever this 
moot point. To this end money has been raised by subscription, 
by special gift, and by contributions taken at public meetings in 
various parts of the country. A lady residing in Boston, moved 
by the pitiful condition of the Indians, who tried to struggle to- 
ward civilization, offered to supply all the money which was lack- 
ing toward the expenses of the suit, provided Secretary Schurz 
would give some public assurances that he favored this manner 
of determining the case, or would give his reasons against this 
attempt. The lady's proposition was sent to Mrs. Helen Hunt 
Jackson, whose disinterested and efficient labors in behalf of the 
deeply-wronged Poncas had already attracted attention. Mrs. 
Jackson forwarded to Secretary Schurz the whole statement. 
Thereupon an interesting correspondence ensued. This corre- 
spondence has been printed in the Boston papers, presumably by 
direction of Secretary Schurz. 

"In reply to the request to say whether he approres of the 
movement to carry the Ponca case to the Supreme Court, in order 
that the tribe may recover their old reservation, the Secretary 


says that this would be useless, as the courts have repeatedly de- 
cided that an Indian tribe cannot sue the United States. Unfort- 
unately, Mr. Schurz does not cite these cases, but we must take 
it for granted that he knows what he is talking about. He adds ' 
that he has taken the advice of lawyers, who coincide with him 
in this opinion. As a suit cannot be brought at all, according to 
the Secretary and his legal advisers, it would be idle to collect 
money for this purpose; and the Secretary suggests that, if the 
disinterested friends of the Indians had consulted lawyers before 
they began their work, they would be of his opinion as to the 
futility of the attempt. This, of course, leaves the impression 
that the Secretary withholds his approval of the movement to 
secure legal rights for the Poncas, though he does not say so in 
express terms. His reason for not approving the attempt is that 
it will do no good. His solution to the Indian problem, as it is 
vaguely called, is to settle the Indians in severalty, breaking up 
their tribal organization, and- giving to each individual his lands 
in fee-simple. This, the Secretary thinks, will enable them to 
hold their lands by the same title as that by which white men 
hold theirs, and, * as a matter of course, they will have the same 
standing in the courts' as white men. It is to be regretted that 
the Secretary did not pause here long enough to show how the 
giving to an Indian of 160 acres of land can clothe him with civil 
rights which he does not now possess, and which the Secretary 
thinks that the courts cannot give him. For this reason, however, 
Mr. Schurz is greatly in favor of legislation providing for the set- 
tlement of the Indians in severalty, various bills to accomplish 
which, he says, are in preparation. As for the money raised 
already, the Secretary suggests that since, in his opinion, it would 
be misspent in obtaining judicial decision, it might be used in the 
education of Indian children. 

" Replying to this, Mrs. Jackson asks if the Secretary would be 
in favor of the Poncas recovering their lands by process of law, 
provided that could be done. To this direct and very important 
inquiry we regret to notice that the Secretary finds himself un- 
able to reply, although, in a letter immediately following this, he 
does say that if an Indian tribe could maintain an action at law in 
the courts to assert its rights, he would no more object to it than 
he would to a white man's doing the same thing. As to the sug- 
gestion that the money collected for the expenses of legal proceed- 
ings be used for educational purposes, Mrs. Jackson asks tlie 
Secretary how it would be possible to take money given for one 


specmc purpose and use it for another and wholly different pur- 
pose. Mr. Schurz rejoins that the consent of the donors may 
first be obtained; but he forgets that it would be impossible 
to canvass the country to ascertain the wishes of thousands of 
unknown givers to this fund. Referring to the intimatioa that 
the friends of the Indians had not taken legal counsel in this 
matter, and that the Secretary had, Mrs. Jackson observes that 
they did take such counsel, and that an omission to do so would 
have been indeed foolish. 

" It will be observed that the Secretary's objection to the at- 
tempt to secure civil rights is its futility; and, in answer to Mrs. 
Jackson's statement that the friends of the Indians have sought 
the opinions of lawyers in this case, he replies that one can find 
lawyers of skill and standing to undertake, for a good fee, any 
case, however hopeless.' To those who might think that this is 
unjustly severe on the legal profession, it should be said that Mr 
Schurz has been by profession a lawyer, and should know what 
he is talking about. And we must presume that Mr. Schurz's 
profound knowledge of the law, which is fortified by the opinions 
of eminent legal men, induces him to consider the whole case 
closed in advance of its submission to the courts. It would be 
interesting, however, to know if the Secretary's lawyers of skill 
and standing are less easily influenced by the prospect of a * good 
fee' than the lawyers of skill and standing consulted by the 
friends of the Poncas. The exceedingly able opinion of Secre- 
tary Schurz, we find, is that it is useless to give the Indian a 
standing in the courts through judicial decisions, as he can 
readily secure this by accepting from the Government of the 
United States a deed of 160 acres of land." 


Standing Bear and his party, after their release by the deci- 
sion of Judge Dandy, settled on an island in the Niobrara River, 
which was a part of their old reservation, and had fortunately 
been overlooked when the United States Government took forci- 
ble possession of the rest of their land and presented it to the 
Sioux. Here they were joined by other fugitives of their tribe 
till the number reached about one hundred and thirty. A com- 
mittee which had been organized in Omaha for their relief 
supplied them with fanning implements, and they went indus- 
triously to work. This committee published in July, 1880, a 
report containing the following paragraphs: 



" We consider the treatment of the Ponca Indians as one of the 
most heart-sickening chapters in our national record of Indian 
\vrongs, and we are determined to spare no effort to restore to 
them their stolen homes and rights, and to relieve the American 
people of the stigma of this terrible -wrong. 

"The Senate of the United States during the past winter 
appointed a select committee ' to ascertain and report the cir- 
cumstances of the removal of the Ponca Indians from their res- 
ervation, and whether the said Indians are not entitled to be 
restored thereto.' This Senate Committee devoted a long time to 
a thorough and patient investigation of this whole Ponca case, 
and reported that the Poncas had been * forced, without authority 
of law, from their homes to the Indian Territory,' and reported also 
a bill for their restoration to their former reservation, and recom- 
mending 'that 150,000 be appropriated for the purpose of taking 
the Poncas back, and restoring their now dilapidated homes.' 

"This able report of the United States Senate says that 'in 
dealing with one of the most peaceable and orderly and well- 
disposed of all the tribes of Indians, the Government has violated 
in the most flagrant manner their rights of property, and disre* 
garded their appeals to the honor and justice of the United States,, 
and the dictates of humanity.' " 

The report also says that " the committee can find no language 
sufficiently strong to condemn the whole proceeding, and trace 
to it all the troubles which have come upon the Poncas, and the 
hardships and sufferings which have followed them since they 
were taken from their old reservation and placed in their present 
position in the Indian Territory." 

The Omaha Ponca Relief Committee need no better vindica- 
tion of their action in behalf of this distressed and outraged 
people than these strong and weighty words of a committee of 
United States Senators, composed of representative men of both 
political parties. 

The Omaha Committee consisted of Bishop Clarkson, of Ne- 
braska, chairman; Rev. A. F. Sherrill, Rev. W. I. Harsha, Leavitt 
Burnham, W. M. Yates, and P. L. Perine. 

At the request of this committee, Mr. T. H. Tibbies in June 
went to the Indian Territory to visit the Poncas (of whom only 
about 400 were left alive). He was authorized " to assure them 
of the interest and efforts of humane people all over the country 
in their behalf, and to notify them that the Omaha Committee 
were ready to assist them in any practical way to return to theii 


old homes, from which they had been unjustly and inhumanly 

Mr. Tibbies succeeded in visiting the Poncas, although the 
Government agent interfered with him in many ways, and finally 
arrested him by authority of an order from Washington to arrest 
any member of the Omaha Committee who came upon the reser- 
vation. He was insulted by the agent, taken by force out of the 
reservation, and threatened with much more severe treatment if 
he ever returned. 

This high-handed outrage on a free citizen of the United States 
aroused indignation throughout the country. The comments of 
the Press on the occurrence showed that people were at last 
waking up to a sense of the tyrannical injustice of the Indian 
Department. The New York Tribune said, editorially: 

* The Indian Department may as well understand at once that 
the Ponca case has passed out of their control. It is a matter of 
simple justice which the people are determined to see righted. 
* * * No petty Indian agent has the legal right to imprison, mal- 
treat, and threaten the life of any citizen totally guiltless of 
offence beyond that of working to give these serfs of the Gov- 
ernment the standing of human beings. * * * It is the Govern- 
ment of this great Republic, where all men are free and equal, 
that holds these Poncas prisoners on a tract where to remain is 
death. They are innocent of any crime except that they have 
been robbed of their land, and that they ask to bring suit, as a 
black man or convict could do, in the courts for its recovery." 

Mr. Tibbies reported the condition of the Poncas in Indian 
Territory as " deplorable in the extreme. They live in constant 
dread and fear, and are as much imprisoned as if they were in a 
penitentiary." They seem "to have lost all hope, are broken- 
hearted and disconsolate. With one or two exceptions, they are 
making no effort to help themselves. Their so-called farms are 
miserable little patches, to which they pay very little attention. 
One of them said to me, * If the Government forces me to stay 
here, it can feed me. I had a good farm back at our old home, 
and if I was back there I would farm again ; I have no heart to 
work here.' The one hundred and fifteen who are back on the 
old reservation have a much larger amount of land under culti- 
vation than the whole four hundred who are in Indian Territory. 
They have kept their crops in good condition, and are full of 
energy and hope." 

The Government Agency for the Poncas having been trans* 


ferred to the Indian Territory, the annuities due the tribe were 
of course paid there, and that portion of the tribe -which had fled 
back to Dakota received nothing. Moreover, the Indian Bureau 
issued an order forbidding any Ponca who should leave the In- 
dian Territory to take with him any kind of property whatsoever, 
under penalty of being arrested for stealing. As they could 
not take their families on the long, hard journey to Dakota 
without food or means of transportation, this order kept them 
imprisoned in Indian Territory as effectually as a military guard 
could have done. 

The Government employe's in charge of them reported, mean- 
while, that they had made up their minds to live and die where 
they are. * * * There exists a feeling of contentment in the tribe 
that will make it very difficult for any one to induce them to leave 
their present home," says a general press despatch, presumably 
dictated by the Indian Bureau, and sent throughout the country 
on July loth. 

It seems an insult to people's common-sense to suppose that 
this statement would be believed, close on the heels of the general 
order for the arrest of all fleeing Poncas who should dare to take 
with them out of the Indian Territory one dollar's worth of prop- 
erty. A very superfluous piece of legislation, surely, for a com- 
munity so " contented " that it would be " difficult for any one to 
induce them to leave their homes." 


The chivalric and disinterested attorneys who had had the 
charge of the Ponca case from the outset, were not to be intimi- 
dated by the threats nor outwitted by the expedients of the In- 
dian Bureau. The ingenious devices practised by the Depart- 
ment of the Interior to hinder the getting service of summons 
upon the defendants in the suits necessary to recover the Poncas* 
lands, make by themselves a shameful chapter, which will some 
day be written out. But on the 13th of July the attorneys were 
able to report to the Omaha Committee as follows : 


Omaba, July 13th, 1880. 
To Omaha Ponca Indian Committee : 

In response to the inquiry of one of your members as to the 
condition of the suits instituted by us to liberate Standing Bear 
and his associate from the custody of the military, and to re- 


cover possession of the Ponca reservation, we make the following 

On April 8th, 1879, was filed by us the petition in the case of 
United States ex reL Ma-chu-nah-zha (Standing Bear) et al. vs. 
George Crook, a Brigadier-general of the Army of the United 
States and Commander of the Department of the Platte, in the 
U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, for a writ of 
habeas corpus for the release of Standing Bear and his companions. 
This cause was tried about the first of May, 1879, and Standing 
Bear and his companions were restored to their liberty. There- 
upon the U. S. District-attorney took the case to the United 
States Circuit Court for this District by appeal, and about May 
19th, upon hearing before Mr. Justice Miller, Associate Justice of 
the Supreme Court of the United States, was there continued, and 
on January 5th, 1880, the appeal was dismissed on the motion of 
the U. S. IMstrict-attorney. 

On April 3d, 1880, was commenced by us the case of Ponca 
tribe of Indians vs. Makh-pi-ah-lu-ta, or Red Cloud, in his own 
behalf, and in behalf of the Sioux nation of Indians, in the U. S. 
Circuit Court for the District of Nebraska, and on May 18th, 
1880, we commenced in the same court the case of Ponca tribe 
of Indians vs. Sioux nation of Indians. These cases were^ com- 
menced, and are being prosecuted by us, to recover possession of 
and establish the title of the Ponca tribe of Indians to so much 
of their old reservation as lies within the limits of Nebraska. 
Great delay was made necessary in the commencement of these 
cases, and the ones subsequently commenced in Dakota, of which 
we below make mention, owing to difficulties in getting service 
of summons upon the defendants. On May 22d, 1880, service of 
summons was had on the defendants in both cases, and some 
action will be taken therein at the next term of the court. 

About the 20th of May, 1880, there were commenced in Da- 
kota other suits in the name of the Ponca tribe of Indians, and 
against the Sioux nation of Indians, and against certain of their 
chiefs, to settle and establish the title of the Ponca tribe of In- 
dians to so much of their old reservation as lies within the limits 
of Dakota. Service has been had in these cases, and the several 
suits mentioned will be prosecuted by us with all convenient 

We might add that we also have in charge the case of John 
Elk vs. Charles Wilkins, in the U. S. Circuit Court for this Dis- 
trict, which is being prosecuted by us to determine the rights of 


Indians under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of 
the United States. Kespectfully submitted, 





" EARLY in 1800 the Governor of the North-west Territory, in his 
message to the assembly, invited their attention to the condition 
of the Indians. lie observed that, irrespective of the principles 
of religion and justice, it was the interest and should be the pol- 
icy of the United States to be at peace with them ; but that could 
not continue to be the case if the treaties existing between them 
and the Government were broken with impunity by the inhabi- 
tants of the Territory. He referred to the well-known fact that 
while the white men loudly complained of every injury commit- 
ted by the Indians, however trifling, and demanded immediate 
reparation, they were daily perpetrating against them injuries 
and wrongs of the most provoking and atrocious nature, for 
which the perpetrators had not been brought to justice.* * * He 
stated that the number of those unfortunate people who had been 
murdered since the peace of Greenville was sufficient to produce 
serious alarm for the consequences. He added, further, that a 
late attempt to bring to punishment a white man, who was clearly 
proved to have killed two adult Indians and wounded two of 
their children, had proved abortive." BURNET'S Notes on North- 
west Territory. 


" Among other falsehoods it has been asserted confidently, but 
without a shadow of argument or fact to sustain the assertion, 
that they cannot be brought to a state of civilization, or be in- 
duced to form communities and engage in the pursuits of agri- 
culture and the arts, in consequence of some physical difference 
between them and the Anglo-Saxon race. This hypothesis is 
contradicted by experience, which has abundantly shown that the 
two races, when placed in the same situation, and acted upon by 
the same causes, have invariably resorted to the same expedients 
and pursued the same policy. 


" This ayerment is sustained by a reference to the white people 
who have been taken prisoners in childhood and brought up 
among the Indians. In every such case the child of civilization 
has become the ferocious adult of the forest, manifesting all the 
peculiarities, tastes, and preferences of the native Indian. His 
manners, habits, propensities, and pursuits have been the same, 
so that the most astute philosophical observer has not been able 
to discover any difference between them, except in the color of 
the skin, and in some instances even this has been removed by 
long exposure to the-elements, and the free use of oils and paints." 

The many instances which there are on record of cases in 
which persons taken captive by the Indians, while young, have 
utterly refused in later life to return to their relatives and homes, 
go to confirm this statement of Judge Bui-net's. 

On the other hand, he says: " The attempts that have been 
made at different times to improve the minds and cultivate the 
morals of these people have always been attended by success. 

" On an unprejudiced comparison between the civilized edu- 
cated white man and the civilized educated Indian, all this the- 
ory of an organic constitutional difference between the European 
and the native Indian vanishes. 

' In what respect have Ross, Boudinot, Hicks, Ridge, and oth- 
ers differed from the educated men of our own race? Inasmuch 
then as the reclaimed educated Indian becomes assimilated to the 
white man, and the European brought up from infancy among 
the Indians becomes identified with them, this alleged difference 
cannot be real, it must be imaginary. 

" The fact is, the difiiculty of civilizing the natives of this con- 
tinent is neither greater nor less than that which retarded the 
improvement of the barbarous nations of Europe two thousand 
years ago. * * * Men uncivilized have always delighted in the 
chase, and had a propensity to roam; both history and expe- 
rience prove that nothing but necessity, arising from such an in- 
crease of population as destroys the game, has ever induced men 
to settle in communities, and rely on the cultivation of the earth 
for subsistence. In the progress of civilization the chase has 
given way to the pastoral state, and that has yielded to agricult- 
ure as the increase of numbers has rendered it necessary. 

" As soon as the Cherokees and the "Wyandots were surrounded 
by a white population, and their territory was so contracted as 
to cut off their dependence on hunting and fishing, they became 
farmers, and manifested a strong desire to cultivate the arts; and 


this would have been the choice of the whole Indian race if the 
policy of the Government had permitted it! 

" It is not just to consider the natives of this country as a dis- 
tinct and inferior race because they do not generally imitate us, 
when we not only remove every consideration that could induce 
them to do so, but in fact render it impossible. What motive 
of ambition was there to stimulate them to effort, when they were 
made to feel that they held their country as tenants at will, liable 
to be driven of: at the pleasure of their oppressors? 

" As soon as they were brought to a situation in which neces- 
sity prompted them to industry, and induced them to begin to 
adopt our manners and habits of life, the covetous eye of the 
white man was fixed on their incipient improvements, and they 
received the chilling notice that they must look elsewhere for 
permanent homes. 

" At the time our settlements were commencing north-west of 
the Ohio, the Indians were its acknowledged owners and sover- 
eigns ; the Government claimed no right either of occupancy or 
soil, except as they obtained it by purchase." 

(On the 31st of July, 1793, the United States Commissioners said 
to the assembled chiefs of the North-western tribes, in a council 
held at the home of one Captain Elliott, on the Detroit River : 
" By the express authority of the President of the United States, 
we acknowledge the property, or right of soil to the great coun- 
try above described, to be in the Indian nations as long as they 
desire to occupy it; we claim only the tracts before particularly 
mentioned, and the right of pre-emption granted by the King, as 
before explained.") 

" The entire country from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi was 
admitted to be theirs, and a more delightful, fertile valley cannot 
be found on the earth. * * * 

" Unconscious of the ruinous consequences that were to follow 
their intimacy with white men, they ceded to the American Gov- 
ernment large and valuable portions of the country at nominal 
prices. Those lands were rapidly settled by Americans, in whose 
purity and friendship the unsuspecting natives had great confi- 
dence; nor did they awake from that delusion tiU their habits of 
sobriety and morality had been undermined, and the vices en- 
gendered by intemperance and idleness had contaminated every 
tribe. * * * 

" Their subsistence became precarious; their health declined; 
their self-respect, their dignity of character, and the heroism in- 


herited from their ancestors were lost. They became In their own 
estimation a degraded, dependent race. The Government, avail- 
ing itself of their weakness and want of energy, succeeded by 
bribes and menaces in. obtaining the best portions of their coun- 
try, and eventually in driving them from the land of their birth 
to a distant home in an unknown region. 

" This distressing chapter of aboriginal history began at the 
treaty of Greenville, in 1795, and terminated in less than fifty 
years. The writer of these notes witnessed its commencement, 
progress, and close." BURNET'S Notes on North-west Territory. 


" They were friendly in their dispositions, and honest to the 
most scrupulous degree in their intercourse with the white men. 
* # * Simply to call these people religious would convey but a faint 
idea of the deep hue of piety and devotion which pervades the 
whole of their conduct. Their honesty is immaculate; and their 
purity of purpose and their observance of the rites of their relig- 
ion are most uniform and remarkable. They are certainly more 
like a nation of saints than a horde of savages." CAPTAIN BONNE- 
VILLE'S Narrative, revised by W. IRVING. 

" I fearlessly assert to the world, and I defy contradiction, that 
the North American Indian is everywhere in his native state a 
highly moral and religious being, endowed by his Maker with an 
intuitive knowledge of some great Author of his being and the 
universe in dread of whose displeasure he constantly lives with 
the apprehension before him of a future state, when he expects 
to be rewarded or punished according to the merits he has gained 
or forfeited in this world. 

"I never saw any other people who spend so much of their 
lives in humbling themselves before and worshipping the Great 
Spirit as these tribes do, nor any whom I would not as soon sus- 
pect of insincerity and hypocrisy. 

" Self-denial and self-torture, and almost self-immolation, are 
continual modes of appealing to the Great Spirit for his counte- 
nance and forgiveness. 

" To each other I have found these people kind and honorable, 
and endowed with eveiy feeling of parental, filial, and conjugal 
affection that is met with in more enlightened communities." 
CATLIN'S North American Indians. 

Mr. Catlin spent eight years among the Indians more than 
forty years ago. He travelled among the wildest of them, lived 



with them in the freest intimacy, and this is his verdict as to their 
native traits, when uncontaminated by white men and whiskey. 

* As long ago as 1724, the Jesuit Father Lafitau wrote of the 
Indians, and stated that to his own experience he added that of 
Father Gamier, who had lived sixty years among them: "They 
are possessed, ".says he, " of sound judgment, lively imagination, 
ready conception, and wonderful memory. All the tribes retain 
at least some trace of an ancient religion, handed down to them 
from their ancestors, and a form of government. They reflect 
justly upon their affairs, and better than the mass of the people 
among ourselves. They prosecute their ends by sure means; 
they evince a degree of coolness and composure which would 
exceed our patience; they never permit themselves to indulge 
in passion, but always, from a sense of honor and greatness of 
soul, appear masters of themselves. They are high-minded and 
proud; possess a courage equal to every trial, an intrepid valor, 
the most heroic constancy under torments, and an equanimity 
which neither misfortunes nor reverses can shake. Toward each 
other they behave with a natural politeness and attention, enter- 
taining a high respect for the aged, and a consideration for their 
equals which appears scarcely reconcilable with that freedom and 
independence of which they are so jealous. They make few pro; 
fessions of kindness, but yet are affable and generous. Toward 
strangers and the unfortunate they exercise a degree of hospi- 
tality and charity which might put the inhabitants of Europe to 
the blush." 

Father Lafitau does not disguise the fact that the Indians have 
great faults. He says they are " suspicious and vindictive, cruel 
to their enemies." 

Pere Lallemant, a missionary among the Hurons, says: "In 
point of intellect they are not at all inferior to the natives of 
Europe ; I could not have believed that, without instruction, na- 
ture could have produced such ready and vigorous eloquence, or 
such a sound judgment in their affairs as that which I have so 
much admired among the Hurons. I admit that their habits and 
customs are barbarous in a thousand ways; but, after all, in mat- 
ters which they consider as wrong, and which their public con- 
demns, we observe among them less criminality than in France, 
although here the only punishment of a crime is the shame of 
having committed it." 

In a history of New France, published in 1618, it is stated of 
the Indians that " they are valorous, faithful, generous, and hu- 


mane; their hospitality is so great that they extend it to every 
one who is not their enemy. They speak with much judgment 
and reason, and, when they have any important enterprise to un- 
dertake, the chief is attentively listened to for two or three hours 
together, and he is answered point to point, as the subject may 

In 1656 the Jesuit missionaries among the Iroquois reported: 
" Among many faults caused by their blindness and barbarous 
education, we meet with virtues enough to cause shame among 
the most of Christians. Hospitals for the poor would be useless 
among them, because there are no beggars ; those who have are 
so liberal to those who are in want, that everything is enjoyed 
in common. The whole village must be in distress before any 
individual is left in necessity." 

Captain Carver, who travelled in 1766 among the wildest tribes, 
describes them as " cruel, barbarous, and revengeful in war, per- 
severing and inflexible in pursuit of an enemy, sanguinary in their 
treatment of prisoners, and sparing neither age nor sex." On the 
other hand, he found them temperate in their mode of living, pa- 
tient of hunger and fatigue, sociable and humane to all whom 
they looked on as friends, and ready to share with them the last 
morsel of food they possessed, or to expose their lives in their de- 
fence. In their public character he describes them as " possess- 
ing an attachment to their nation unknown to the inhabitants of 
any other country, combining as if actuated by one soul against 
a common enemy, never swayed in their councils by selfish or 
party views, but sacrificing everything to the honor and advan- 
tage of their tribe, in support of which they fear no danger, and 
are affected by no sufferings. They are not only affectionately 
attached, indeed, to their own offspring, but are extremely fond 
of children in general. They instruct them carefully in their own 
principles, and train them up with attention in the maxims and 
habits of their nation. Their system consists chiefly in the influ- 
ence of example, and impressing on them the traditionary his- 
tories of their ancestors. When the children act wrong, their 
parents remonstrate and reprimand but never chastise them." 
HALKETT'S Hist. Notes. 

The very idea of corporal punishment of little children seems 
to have been peculiarly obnoxious to the native North American. 
In the " Relation de Nbuvelle France," published in 1633, there 
is a curious story of an incident which took place at Quebec. A 
party of Indians, watching a French drummer-boy beat his drum, 


pressed more closely around him. than he liked, and he struck one 
of the Indians in the face with his drum-stick so sharply that the 
blow drew blood. The Indians, much offended, went to the in- 
terpreter and demanded apologies and a present, according to 
their custom. "No," said the interpreter, "our custom is to 
punish the offender; we will punish the boy in your presence." 
When the Indians saw the child stripped for the flogging they 
began immediately to beg for his pardon ; but as the soldiers con- 
tinued their preparations for whipping the lad, one of the In- 
dians suddenly stripped himself and threw his robe over the boy, 
crying out, " Scourge me, if you choose, but do not strike the 
boy I " The good Father Le Jeune, who tells this story, adds that 
this unwillingness of the Indians to see any child chastised " will 
probably occasion trouble to us in the design we have to instruct 
their youth." 

As far back as 1587 we find evidence that the Indians were 
not without religion. Thomas Hariot, an employd of Sir Walter 
Raleigh's, writing from the Virginia colony, says of the Virginia 
Indians: " Theye beleeve that there are many gods, which theye 
call Mantaoc, but of different sorts and degrees; one onely chief 
and Great God, which hath been from all eternitie; who, as theye 
affirme, wben hee proposed to make the world, made first other 
gods of a principall order, to bee as means and instruments to 
bee used in the creation and government to folow; and after the 
sunne, moone, and starres as pettie gods, and the instruments of 
the other order more principall." 

"In general," says Hunter, "a day seldom passes with an 
elderly Indian, or others who are esteemed wise and good, in 
which a blessing is not asked, or thanks returned to the Giver 
of Life, sometimes audibly, but more generally in the devotional 
language of the heart." 

All the employe's of the North-west Fur Company bear the 
same testimony to the fidelity and honesty of the Indians. 

General H. Sibley once said to Bishop Whipple that for thirty 
years it had been the uniform boast of the Sioux in every council 
that they had never taken the life of a white man. 




IN Captain Bonneville's narrative of five years spent in the 
Rocky Mountains are many instances of cruel outrages committed 
by whites upon Indians. 

" One morning one of his trappers, discovering that his traps 
had been carried off in the night, took a horrid oath that he 
would kill the first Indian he should meet, innocent or guilty. 
As he was returning with his comrades to camp, he beheld two 
unfortunate Root Diggers seated on the bank, fishing; advancing 
upon them, he levelled his rifle, shot one on the spot, and flung 
his bleeding body into the stream. 

"A short time afterward, when this party of trappers were 
about to cross Ogden's River, a great number of Shoshokies, or 
Root Diggers, were posted on the opposite bank, when they im- 
agined they were there with hostile intent; they advanced upon 
them, levelled their rifles, and killed twenty-five of them on the 
spot. The rest fled to a short distance, then halted and turned 
about, howling and whining like wolves, and uttering most pit- 
eous wailings. The trappers chased them in every direction. 
The poor wretches made no defence, but fled in terror ; nor does 
it appear from the accounts of the boasted victors that a weapon 
had been wielded by the Indians throughout the affair." 

There seemed to be an emulation among these trappers which 
could inflict the greatest outrages on the natives. They chased 
them at full speed, lassoed them like cattle, and dragged them till 
they were dead. 

At one time, when some horses had been stolen by the .Ric 
carees, this same party of trappers took two Riccaree Indians 
prisoners, and declared that, unless the tribe restored every horse 
that had been stolen, these two Indians, who had strayed into the 
trappers' camp without any knowledge of the offence committed, 
should be burnt to death. 

"To give force to their threat, a pyre of logs and fagots was 
heaped up and kindled into a blaze. The Riccarees released one 
horse and then another; but, finding that nothing but the relin- 
quishment of all their spoils would purchase the lives of the cap- 
tives, they abandoned them to their fate, moving off with many 
parting words and howlings, when the prisoners were dragged to 


the blazing pyre and burnt to death in sight of their retreating 

" Such are the acts that lead to terrible recriminations on the 
part of the Indians. Individual cases of the kind dwell in the 
recollections of whole tribes, and it is a point of honor and con- 
science to avenge them. 

" The records of the wars between the early settlers of Virginia 
and New England and the natives exhibit cruelties on both sides 
that make one shudder. * * * When the Indian would tear the 
scalp from the crown of the scarcely yet dead victim, and muti- 
late the body, could he be expected to reform those cruelties 
when he saw the white man in his turn cut off the heads of his 
people, and mutilate and quarter their bodies, as was done with 
King Philip's, whose head, after being cut off, was sent to Plym- 
outh and hung up there on a gibbet, where it remained twenty 
years, while one of his hands was sent to Boston as a trophy, his 
body being quartered and hung upon four trees? " M'FORLEY'S 
History and Travels. 


" Port Orford, Oregon Territory, February 5th, 1854. 

"I grieve to report to you that a most horrid massacre, or 
rather an out-and-out barbarous murder, was perpetrated on a 
portion of the Nason tribe, residing at the mouth of the Coquille 
River, on the morning of the 28th of January last, by a party of 
forty miners. Before giving you the result of my examination 
and my own conclusions, I will give you the reasons which that 
party assign in justification of their acts. 

" They avow that, for some time past, the Indians at the mouth 
of the Coquille have been insolent ; that they have been in the 
habit of riding the horses of white men without permission ; that 
of late they have committed many thefts, such as stealing paddles 
and many other articles the property of white men; that one of 
their number recently discharged his gun at the ferry-house; and 
that but a few days prior to the attack on the Indians, the chief, 
on leaving the ferry-house, where he had just been fed, fired his 
gun at a party of four white men standing near the door of the 
house. They further state that, on the 27th of January, they sent 
for the chief to come in for a talk ; that he not only refused to 
come in, but sent back word that he would kill white men if they 
came to his home; that he meant to kill all the white men he 
could; that he was determined to drive the white men out of his 


country; that he would kill the men at the ferry, and burn their 
houses. Immediately after this conversation with the chief, the 
white men at and near the ferry-house assembled, and deliberated 
on the necessity of an immediate attack on the Indians. 

" The result of their deliberation, with the full proceedings of 
their meeting, is herein enclosed. At the conclusion, a courier 
was despatched to the upper mines for assistance. A party of 
about twenty responded to the call, and arrived at the ferry-house 
on the evening preceding the morning of the massacre. On the 
arrival of this re-enforcement the proceedings of the meeting first 
held were reconsidered, and unanimously approved. 

" At the dawn of day on the morning of the 28th of January 
the party of the ferry, joined by about twenty men from the upper 
mines, organized, and, in three detachments, marched upon the 
Indian ranches, and consummated a most inhuman slaughter. A 
full account of what they term ' a fight ' you will find in the re- 
port which their captain, George H. Abbott, forwarded to me on 
the day of the massacre. 

" The Indians were roused from sleep to meet their death, with 
but feeble show of resistance. They were shot down as they were 
attempting to escape from their houses; fifteen men and one 
squaw killed; two squaws badly wounded. On the part of the 
white men, not even the slightest wound was received. The 
houses of the Indians, with but one exception, were fired, and en- 
tirely destroyed. Thus was committed a massacre too inhuman 
to be readily believed. Now for my examination of this horrid 

" On the morning of the 29th of January I left Port Orford for 
the Coquille. We arrived at the ferry-house early in the evening 
of that day. Early in the morning of the day after my arrival I 
sent for the chief, who immediately came in, attended by about 
thirty of his people. The chief, as well as his people, was so 
greatly alarmed apparently apprehensive that the white men 
would kill them even in my presence that it was with a good 
deal of difficulty that I could induce him to express his mind 
freely. He seemed only anxious to stipulate for peace and the 
future safety of his people; and to procure this he was willing to 
accept any terms that I might dictate. The chief was evidently 
afraid to complain of or censure the slaughterers of his tribe, and 
for a time replied to all the charges made against him with hesi- 
tancy. After repeated assurances of protection, he finally answered 
to the point every interrogatory. I asked him if he had at any 


time fired at the man at the ferry-house. ' ]STo ! ' was his prompt 
reply. At the time he was said to have fired at the white man, 
he declared with great earnestness that he shot at a duck in the 
river, at a distance of some two hundred yards from the ferry- 
house, when on his way home, aud possibly the ball of his gun 
might have bounded from the water. My subsequent observation 
of the course of the river, and the point from which he was said 
to have fired, convinced me that his statement was entitled to the 
fullest credit. His statement is confirmed by the doubt expressed 
by one of the party at whom he was said to have fired. 

" The white men making the accusation only heard the whiz- 
zing of a bullet. This was the only evidence adduced in proof of 
the chief having fired at them. I asked the chief if he, or if to his 
knowledge any of his people, had ever fired at the ferry-house. To 
this he answered, ' No.' He most emphatically denied ever send- 
ing threatening language to the men at the ferry, but admitted 
that some of his people had. He also admitted that some of his 
tribe had stolen from white men, and that they had used their 
horses without permission. He did not deny that his heart had 
been bad toward white men, and that he had hoped they would 
leave his country. He promised to do all I required of him. If I 
desired, he said he would leave the home of his fathers and take 
his people to the mountains; but, with my permission and protec- 
tion, he would prefer remaining in the present home of his people. 

" Everything I asked or required of him he readily assented 
to, promising most solemnly to maintain on his part permanent 
friendly relations with white men. My interview with the tribe 
occupied about two hours. During the entire council they lis- 
tened with most profound attention, evidently being determined 
to fasten on their minds all that fell from my lips. At the con- 
clusion of the council I requested the chief to send for all the 
guns and pistols in the possession of his men. You will be sur- 
prised when I tell you that all the guns and pistols in the hands 
of the Indians at the ranches amounted to just five pieces, two of 
which were unserviceable; as to powder and ball, I do not believe 
they had five rounds. Does this look like being prepared for 
war ? Can any sane man believe those Indians, numbering not 
over seventy-five, all told, including women and children, had con- 
cocted a plan to expel from their country some three hundred 
whites? Such a conclusion is too preposterous to be entertained 
for a moment. There was no necessity for resorting to such ex- 
treme measures. I regard the murder of those Indians as one of 


the most barbarous acts ever perpetrated by civilized men. But 
what can be done? The leaders of the party cannot be arrested, 
though justice loudly demands their punishment. Here we have 
not even a justice of the peace ; and as to the military force 
garrisoned at Fort Orford, it consists of four men. If such mur- 
derous assaults are to be continued, there will be no end of Indian 
war in Oregon." F. M. SMITH, Sub- A gent. 

The Simon Kenton referred to in the following narrative was 
an experienced Indian fighter, and commanded a regiment in the 
war of 1812. 

"In the course of the war of 1812 a plan was formed by some 
of the militia stationed at Urbana, Ohio, to attack an encampment 
of friendly Indians, who had been threatened by the hostile tribes, 
and were invited to remove with their families within our fron- 
tier settlements as a place of safety, under an assurance that they 
should be protected. Kenton remonstrated against the move- 
ment as being not only mutinous, but treacherous and cowardly. 
He vindicated the Indian character against the false charges 
which were alleged in justification of the outrage they were 
about to perpetrate, and warned them against the infamy they 
would incur by destroying a defenceless band of men, women, 
and children, who had been induced to place themselves in their 
power by a solemn promise of protection. 

" He appealed to their humanity, their honor, and their duty as 
soldiers. He contrasted his knowledge of the character of those 
unfortunate people with their ignorance of it. He told them that 
he had endured suffering and torture at their hands again and 
again, but that it was in time of war, when they were defending 
their wives and children, and when he was seeking to destroy 
and exterminate them; and that, under those circumstances, he 
had no right to complain, and never did complain. But, said he, 
in time of peace they have always been kind, faithful friends, and 
generous, trustworthy men. 

" Having exhausted the means of persuasion without effect, and 
finding them still resolved on executing their purpose, he took a 
rifle and called on them to proceed at once to the execution of the 
foul deed declaring with great firmness that he would accom- 
pany them to the encampment, and shoot down the first man who 
attempted to molest it. ' My life, ' said he, is drawing to a close : 
what remains of it is not worth much;,' but, much or little, he was 
resolved that, if they entered the Indian camp, it should be done 
by passing over his corpse. Knowing that the old veteran would 


fulfil his promise, their hearts failed them; not one ventured to 
take the lead; their purpose was abandoned, and the Indians were 
saved." BURNET on the North-west Territory. 




THE commission consisted of Brigadier-general Terry, Hon. A. 
G. Lawrence, and Colonel Corbin, secretary. After one month's 
journey, via Omaha, Nebraska, Helena, Montana, and Fort Ben- 
ton, these gentlemen were met on the Canadian boundary by a 
Canadian officer with a mounted escort, who conducted them to 
Fort Walsh, when they were met by Sitting Bull and the other 

General Terry recapitulated to them the advantages of being at 
peace with the United States, the kindly treatment that all 
surrendered prisoners had received, and said: " The President 
invites you to come to the boundary of his and your country, and 
there give up your arms and ammunition, and thence to go to the 
agencies to which he will assign you, and there give up your 
horses, excepting those which are required for peace purposes. 
Your arms and horses will then be sold, and with all the money 
obtained for them cows will be bought and sent to you." 

It is mortifying to think that representatives of the United 
States should have been compelled gravely to submit in a formal 
council proposals so ludicrous as these. . The Indians must have 
been totally without sense of humor if they could have listened 
to them without laughter. Sitting Bull's reply is worthy of being 
put on record among the notable protests of Indian chiefs against 
the oppressions of their race. 

He said: "For sixty-four years you have kept me and my peo- 
ple, and treated us bad. What have we done that you should 
want us to stop? We have done nothing. It is all the people 
on your side that have started us to do all these depredations. 
We could not go anywhere else, and so we took refuge in this 
country. * * * I would like to know why you came here. In the 
first place I did not give you the country ; but you followed me 
from one place to another, so I had to leave and come over to 


this country. * * * You have got ears, and you have got eyes to 
see with them, and you see how I live with these people. You 
see me. Here I am. If you think I am a fool, you are a bigger 
fool than I am. This house is a medicine house. You come here 
to tell us lies, but we don't want to hear them. I don't wish any 
such language used to me that is, to tell me lies in my Great 
Mother's house. This country is mine, and I intend to stay here 
and to raise this country full of grown people. See these people 
here. We were raised with them " (again shaking hands with the 
British officers). " That is enough, so no more. * * * The part of 
the country you gave me you ran me out of . * * * I wish you to 
go back, and to take it easy going back." 

The-one-that-runs-the-Ree, a Santee chief , said: "You did n't 
treat us well, and I don't like you at all. * * * I will be at peace 
with these people as long as I live. This country is ours. We 
did not give it to you. You stole it away from us. You have 
come over here to tell us lies, and I don't propose to talk much, 
and that is all I have to say. I want you to take it easy going 
home. Don't go in a rush." 

Nine, a Yankton, said: " Sixty-four years ago you got our 
country, and you promised to take good care of us and keep us. 
You ran from one place to another killing us and ffghting us.* * * 
You did not treat us right over there, so we came back over here. 
* * * I come in to these people here, and they give me permission to 
trade with the traders. That is the way I make my living. Every- 
thing I get I buy from the traders. I don't steal anything.* * * 
I am going to live with these people here." 

So profound a contempt did the Indians feel for this commis- 
sion that they allowed a squaw to address it. 

A squaw, named The-one-that-speaks-once, wife of The-man- 
that-scatters-the-bear, said: " I was over at your country. I 
wanted to raise my children there, but you did not give me any 
time. I came over to this country to raise my children, and have 
a little peace " (shaking hands with the British officers) ; " that is 
all I have to say to you. I want you to go back where you came 
from. These are the people that I am going to stay with and 
raise my children with." 

The Indians having risen, being apparently about to leave the 
room, the interpreter was directed to ask the following questions: 
" Shall I say to the President that you refuse the offers that he 
has made to you ? Are we to understand that you refuse those 
offers ? " Sitting Bull answered: " I could tell you more, but that 


is all I have to tell. If we told you more, you would not pay 
any attention to it. This part of the country does not belong to 
your people. You belong on the other side, this side belongs 
to us." 

The Crow, shaking hands, and embracing Colonel McLeod, and 
shaking hands with the other British officers, said : " This is the 
way I will live in this part of the country. * * * These people that 
don't hide anything, they are all the people I like. * * * Sixty-four 
years ago I shook hands with the soldiers, and ever since that I 
have had hardships. I made peace with them; and ever since 
then I have been running from one place to another to keep out 
of their way. * * * Go to where you were born, and stay there. I 
came over to this country, and my Great Mother knows all about 
it. She knows I came over here, and she don't wish anything of 
me. We think, and all the women in the camp think, we are 
going to have the country full of people. * * * I have come back 
in this part of the country again to have plenty more people, to 
live in peace, and raise children." 

The Indians then inquired whether the commission had any- 
thing more to say, and the commission answered that they had 
nothing more to say, and the conference closed. 

The commission, with a naive lack of comprehension of the 
true situation of the case, go on to say that " they are convinced 
that Sitting Bull and the bands under him will not seek to re- 
turn to this country at present. It is believed that they are re- 
strained from returning," partly by their recollection of the severe 
handling they had by the military forces of the United States in 
the last winter and spring, and partly " by their belief that, for 
some reason which they cannot fathom, the Government of the 
United States earnestly desires that they shall return. * * * In 
their intense hostility to our Government, they are determined to 
contravene its wishes to the best of their ability." It would seem 
so even to the extent of foregoing all the privileges offered 
them on their return the giving up of all weapons the exchang- 
ing of their horses for cows and the priceless privilege of being 
shut up on reservations, off which they could not go without be- 
ing pursued, arrested, and brought back by troops. What a depth 
of malignity must be in the breasts of these Indians, that to grat- 
ify it they will voluntarily relinquish all these benefits, and con- 
tinue to remain in a country where they must continue to hunt, 
and make their own living on the unjust plan of free trade in 
open markets 1 





CLAIMS had been set up by the Indian traders for $400,000 of 
the money promised to the Sioux by the treaties of 1851 and 
1852. The Indians declared that they did not owe so much. 
Governor Eamsey endeavored to compel Red Iron to sign a re- 
ceipt for it; he refused. He said his tribe had never had the 
goods. He asked the governor to appoint arbitrators two white 
men and one Indian ; it was refused. He then said that he would 
accept three white men as arbitrators, if they were honest men: 
this was refused. 

An eye-witness has sketched the appearance of the chief on 
that occasion, and the interview between him and the governor : 
The council was crowded with Indians and white men when 
Red Iron was brought in, guarded by soldiers. He was about 
forty years old, tall and athletic; about six feet high in his moc- 
casins, with a large, well-developed head, aquiline nose, thin com- 
pressed lips, and physiognomy beaming with intelligence and 
resolution. He was clad in the half-military, half-Indian costume 
of the Dakota chiefs. He was seated in the council-room without 
greeting or salutation from any one. In a few minutes the gov- 
ernor, turning to the chief in the midst of a breathless silence, by 
the aid of an interpreter, opened the council. 

Governor Ramsey asked : " What excuse have you for not com- 
ing to the council when I sent for you ? " 

The chief rose to his feet with native grace and dignity, his 
blanket falling from his shoulders, and purposely dropping the 
pipe of peace, he stood erect before the governor with Ms arms 
folded, and right hand pressed on the sheath of his scalping- 
knif e ; with firm voice he replied : 

" I started to come, but your braves drove me back." 

Gov. " What excuse have you for not coming the second time 
I sent for you ? " 

Red Iron. " No other excuse than I have given you." 

Gov. " At the treaty I thought you a good man, but since you 


have acted badly, and I am disposed to break you. I do break 

Red Iron. ' l You break me 1 My people made me a chief. My 
people love me. I will still be their chief. I have done nothing 

Gov. "Why did you get your braves together and march around 
here for the purpose of intimidating other chiefs, and prevent 
their coming to the council ? " 

Red Iron. " I did not get my braves together, they got together 
themselves to prevent boys going to council to be made chiefs, 
to sign papers, and to prevent single chiefs going to council at 
night, to be bribed to sign papers for money we have never got. 
We have heard how the Medewakantons were served at Mendota; 
that by secret councils you got their names on paper, and took 
away their money. We don't want to be served so. My braves 
wanted to come to council in the daytime, when the sun shines, 
and we want no councils in the dark. We want all our people 
to go to council together, so that we can all know what is done." 

Gov. " Why did you attempt to come to council with your 
braves, when I had forbidden your braves coming to council?" 

Red Iron. " You invited the chiefs only, and would not let the 
braves conie too. This is not the way we have been treated be- 
fore; this is not according to our customs, for among Dakotas 
chiefs and braves go to council together. When you first sent 
for us, there were two or three chiefs here, and we wanted to 
wait till the rest would come, that we might all be in council to- 
gether and know what was done, and so that we might all under- 
stand the papers, and know what we were signing. When we 
signed the treaty the traders threw a blanket over our faces and 
darkened our eyes, and made us sign papers which we did not 
understand, and which were not explained or read to us. We 
want our Great Father at Washington to know what has been 

Gov. " Your Great Father has sent me to represent him, and 
what I say is what he says. He wants you to pay your old debts, 
in accordance with the paper you signed when the treaty was 
made, and to leave that money in my hands to pay these debts. 
If you refuse to do that I will take the money back." 

Red Iron. " You can take the money back. We sold our land 
to you, and you promised to pay us. If you don't give us the 
money I will be glad, and all our people will be glad, for we will 
have our land back if you don't give us the money. That paper 


was not interpreted or explained to us. We are told it gives 
about 300 boxes ($300,000) of our money to some of the traders. 
We don't think we owe them so much. We want to pay all our 
debts. We want our Great Father to send three good men here 
to tell us how much we do owe, and whatever they say we will 
pay; and that 's what all these braves say. Our chiefs and all our 
people say this. * ' All the Indians present responded, c * Ho I ho ! ' ' 

Gov. " That can't be done. You owe more than your money 
will pay, and I am ready now to pay your annuity, and no more ; 
and when you are ready to receive it, the agent will pay you." 

Red Iron. et We will receive our annuity, but we will sign no 
papers for anything else. The snow is on the ground, and we 
have been waiting a long time to get our money. We are poor; 
you have plenty. Your fires are warm. Your tepees keep out the 
cold: We have nothing to eat. We have been waiting a long 
time for our moneys. Our hunting-season is past. A great many 
of our people are sick, for being hungry. We may die because 
you won't pay us. We may die, but if we do we will leave our 
bones on the ground, that our Great Father may see where his 
Dakota children died. We are very poor. We have sold our 
hunting-grounds and the graves of our fathers. We have sold 
our own graves. We have no place to bury our dead, and you 
will not pay us the money for our lands." 

The council was broken up, and Red Iron was sent to the guard- 
house, where he was kept till next day. Between thirty and 
forty of the braves of Red Iron's band were present during this 
arrangement before the governor. When he was led away, they 
departed in sullen silence, headed by Lean Bear, to a spot a quar- 
ter of a mile from the council-house, where they uttered a suc- 
cession of yells the gathering signal of the Dakotas. Ere the 
echoes died away, Indians were hurrying from their tepees to- 
ward them, prepared for battle. They proceeded to the eminence 
near the camp, where mouldered the bones of many warriors. 
It was the memorable battle-ground, where their ancestors had 
fought, in a conflict like Waterloo, the warlike Sacs and Foxes, 
thereby preserving their lands and nationality. Upon this field 
stood two hundred resolute warriors ready to do battle for their 
hereditary chief. Lean Bear, the principal brave of Red Iron's 
band, was a large, resolute man, about thirty-five years of age, 
and had great influence in his nation. 

Here, on their old battle-ground, Lean Bear recounted the 
brave deeds of Red Iron, the long list of wrongs inflicted on the 


Indians by the white men, and proposed to the braves that they 
should make a general attack on the whites. By the influence 
of some of the half-breeds, and of white men who were known 
to be friendly to them, Lean Bear was induced to abandon his 
scheme ; and finally, the tribe, being starving, consented to give 
up their lands and accept the sum of money offered to them. 

" Over $55,000 of this treaty money, paid for debts of the 
Indians, went to one Hugh Tyler, a stranger in the country, 
'for getting the treaties through the Senate, and for necessaiy 
disbursements in securing the assent of the chiefs.' " 

Five years later another trader, under the pretence that he was 
going to get back for them some of this stolen treaty money, ob- 
tained their signature to vouchers, by means of which he cheated 
them out of $12,000 more. At this same time he obtained a 
payment of $4,500 for goods he said they had stolen from him. 
Another man was allowed a claim of $5,000 for horses he said 
they had stolen from him. 

" In 1858 the chiefs were taken to Washington, and agreed to 
the treaties for the cession of all then: reservation north of the 
Minnesota River, under which, as ratified by the Senate, they 
were to have $166,000 ; but of this amount they never received 
one penny till four years afterward, when $15,000 in goods were 
sent to the Lower Sioux, and these were deducted out of what was 
due them under former treaties." History of the Sioux War, by 

This paragraph gives the causes of the fearful Minnesota mas- 
sacre, in which eight hundred people lost their lives. 

The treaty expressly provided that no claims against the In- 
dians should be paid unless approved by the Indians in open 
council. No such council was held. A secret council was held 
with a few chiefs, but the body of the Indians were ignorant of 
it. There was a clause in this treaty that the Secretary of the 
Interior might use any funds of the Indians for such purposes of 
civilization as his judgment should dictate. Under this clause 
the avails of over six hundred thousand acres of land were taken 
for claims against the Indians. Of the vast amount due to the 
Lower Sioux, only a little over $800 was left to their credit in 
Washington at the time of the outbreak. Moreover, a portion of 
their annual annuity was also taken for claims. 



IN 1863. 

" The guard that accompanied these Indians consisted of four 
commissioned officers, one hundred and thirty-five soldiers, and 
one laundress ; in all, one hundred and forty persons. The num- 
ber of Santee Sioux transported was thirteen hundred and eigh- 
teen. For the transportation and subsistence of these Indians 
and the guard there was paid the sum of $36,322.10. 

" The number of Winnebagoes transported was nineteen hun- 
dred and forty-five; for their transportation and subsistence there 
was paid the farther sum of $56, 042.60 making the whole amount 
paid the contractors $92,364.70. 

" The Sioux were transported from Fort Snelling to Hannibal, 
Missouri, on two steamboats. One of the boats stopped there, 
and the Indians on it crossed over to St. Joseph, on the Missouri 
Kiver, by rail. The other boat continued to the junction of the 
Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and thence up the latter to St. 
Joseph; and here the Indians that crossed over by rail were put 
upon the boat, and from thence to Crow Creek all of them were 
on one boat. They were very much crowded from St. Joseph to 
Crow Creek. Sixteen died on the way, being without attention or 
medical supplies. All the Indians were excluded from the cabin 
of the boat, and confined to the lower and upper decks. It was 
in May, and to go among them on the lower deck was suffoca- 
ting. They were fed on hard bread and mess pork, much of it 
not cooked, there being no opportunity to cook it only at night 
when the boat laid up. They had no sugar, coffee, or vegetables. 
Confinement on the boat in such a mass, and want of proper food, 
created much sickness, such as diarrhoea and fevers. For weeks 
after they arrived at Crow Creek the Indians died at the rate of 
from three to four per day. In a few weeks one hundred and 
fifty had died, mainly on account of the treatment they had re- 
ceived after leaving Fort Snelling." MANEYPENNY, Our Indian 

OP 1864. 

" During the summer the Indians were fed on flour and pork; 
they got no beef till fall. They suffered for want of fresh beef as 
well as for medical supplies. In the fall their ration began to fail; 
and the issue was gradually reduced; and the Indians complained 



bitterly. * * * The beef furnished was from the cattle that hauled 
the supplies from Minnesota. These cattle had travelled over 
three hundred miles, hauling the train, with nothing to eat but 
the dry prairie grass, there being no settlements on the route 
they came. The cattle were very poor. Some died or gave out 
on the trip, and such were slaughtered, and the meat brought in 
on the train for food for the Indians. About the 1st of January, 
1864, near four hundred of the cattle were slaughtered. Except 
the dry prairie grass, which the frost had killed, these cattle had 
no food from the time they came to Crow Creek until they were 
slaughtered. A part of the beef thus made was piled up in the 
warehouse in snow, and the remainder in like manner packed in 
snow outside. This beef was to keep the Indians until the com- 
ing June. The beef was black, and very poor the greater part 
only skin and bone. Shortly after the arrival of the train from 
Minnesota the contractors for supplying the Indians with flour 
took about one hundred head of the oxen, selecting the best of 
them, yoked them up, and sent them with wagons to Sioux City, 
some two hundred and forty miles, to haul up flour. This train 
returned in February, and these oxen were then slaughtered, and 
fed to the Indians. 

" In January the issue of soup to the Indians commenced. It was 
made in a large cotton- wood vat, being cooked by steam carried 
from the boiler of the saw-mill in a pipe to the vat. The vat was 
partly filled with water, then several quarters of beef chopped up 
were thrown into it, and a few sacks of flour added. The hearts, 
lights, and entrails were added to the compound, and in the be- 
ginning a few beans were put into the vat ; but this luxury did 
not continue long. This soup was issued every other day to the 
Santee Sioux pne day, the alternate day to the Winnebagoes. It 
was very unpalatable. On the day the Indians received the soup 
they had no other food issued to them. They were very much 
dissatisfied, and said they could not live on the soup, when those 
in charge told them if they could live elsewhere they had better 
go, but that they must not go to the white settlements. Many of 
them did leave the agency, some going to Fort Sully, others to 
Fort Randall, in search of food. From a description of this nau- 
seous mess called soup, given by Samuel C. Haynes, then at Fort 
Randall, and assistant-surgeon in the military service, it is seen 
that the Indians had good cause to leave Crow Creek. He states 
that there were thrown into the vat ' beef, beef-heads, entrails of 
the beeves, some beans, flour, and pork. I think there were put 


into the vat two barrels of flour each time, which was not oftener 
than once in twenty-four hours. This mass was then cooked by 
the steam from the boiler passing through the pipe into the vat. 
When that was done, all the Indians were ordered to come with 
their pails and get it. It was dipped out to the Indians with a 
long-handled dipper made for the purpose. I cannot say the 
quantity given to each. It was about the consistency of very 
thin gruel. The Indians would pour off the thinner portion and 
eat that which settled at the bottom. As it was dipped out of 
the vat, some of the Indians would get the thinner portions and 
some would get some meat. I passed there frequently when it 
was cooking, and was often there when it was being issued. It 
had a very offensive odor. It had the odor of the contents of the 
entrails of the beeves. I have seen the settlings of the vat after 
they were through issuing it to the Indians, when they were 
cleaning the vat, and the settlings smelled like carrion like de- 
composed meat. Some of the Indians refused to eat it, saying 
they could not, it made them sick.' "- MANEYPENNY, Our Indian 



To Major H. Douglas, U. S. Army : 

SIR, I learn from the commanding officer at this post that you 
desire full information in regard to the Indians around this place, 
with a view, if possible, of bettering their condition by sending 
them on the Truckee River Reservation. All the Indians from here 
to Carson City belong to the Pah-Ute tribe. My father, whose 
name is Winnemucca, is the head chief of the whole tribe; but he 
is now getting too old, and has not energy enough to command, 
nor to impress on their minds the necessity of their being sent on 
the reservation. In fact, I think he is entirely opposed to it. He, 
myself, and most of the Humboldt and Queen's River Indians 
were on the Truckee Reservation at one time; but if we had 
stayed there, it would be only to starve. I think that if they had 
received what they were entitled to from the agents, they would 
never have left them. So far as their knowledge of agriculture 
extends, they are quite ignorant, as they have never had the op- 


portunity of learning; but I think, if proper pains were taken, 
that they would willingly make the effort to maintain themselves 
by their own labor, providing they could be made to^ believe that 
the products were their own, for their own use and comfort. It is 
needless for me to enter into details as to how we were treated 
on the reservation while there. It is enough to say that we were 
confined to the reserve, and had to live on what fish .we might be 
able to catch in the river. If this is the kind of civilization await- 
ing us on the reserves, God grant that we may never be compelled 
to go on one, as it is much preferable to live in the mountains 
and drag out an existence in our native manner. So far as living 
is concerned, the Indians at all military posts get enough to eat 
and considerable cast-off clothing. 

But how long is this to continue? What is the object of the 
Government in regard to Indians ? Is it enough that we are at 
peace? Remove all the Indians from the military posts and place 
them on reservations such as the Truckee and Walker River Res- 
ervations (as they were conducted), and it will require a greater 
military force stationed round to keep them within the limits than 
it now does to keep them in subjection. On the other hand, if 
the Indians have any guarantee that they can secure a permanent 
home on their own native soil, and that our white neighbors can 
be kept from encroaching on our rights, after having a reasonable 
share of ground allotted to us as our own, and giving us the re- 
quired advantages of learning, I warrant that the savage (as he is 
called to-day) will be a thrifty and law-abiding member of the 
community fifteen or twenty years hence. 

Sir, if at any future time you should require information regard- 
ing the Indians here, I will be happy to furnish the same if I can. 


Camp McDermitt, Nevada, April 4th, 1870. 



[Adopted July 21st, A.D. 1866.] 

THE chiefs and councillors of the Delaware tribe of Indians 
convened at their council-house, on the reservation of said tribe, 
adopted July 21st, 1866, the following laws, to be amended as 
they think proper: 



Section 1. A national jail shall be built on the public grounds, 
upon which the council-house is now situated. 

Sec. 2. Any person who shall steal any horse, mule, ass, or 
cattle of any kind, shall be punished as follows: For the first 
offence the property of the offender shall be sold by the sheriff, to 
pay the owner of the animal stolen the price of said animal, and 
all costs he may sustain in consequence of such theft. But if the 
offender has no property, or if his property be insufficient to pay 
for the animal stolen, so much of his annuity shall be retained as 
may be necessary to pay the owner of said animal, as above direct- 
ed, and no relative of said offender shall be permitted to assist 
him in paying the penalties of said theft. For the second offence 
the thief shall be sent to jail for thirty-five days, and shall pay all 
costs and damages the owner may sustain on account of said theft. 
For the third offence the thief shall be confined in jail three 
months, and shall pay all costs and damages, as above provided. 

Sec. 3. If any person shall steal a horse beyond the limits of the 
reserve, and bring it within the limits thereof, it shall be lawful 
for the owner to pursue and reclaim the same upon presenting 
satisfactory proof of ownership, and, if necessary, receive the as- 
sistance of the officers of the Delaware nation. And it is further 
provided, that such officials as may from time to time be clothed 
with power by the United States agent may pursue such offender 
either within or without the limits of the reserve. 

Sec. 4. Whoever shall ride any horse without the consent of the 
owner thereof shall, for the first offence, pay the sum of ten dol- 
lars for each day and night that he may keep the said animal; 
and for the second offence shall be confined in jail for the term of 
twenty-one days, besides paying a fine of ten dollars. 

Sec. 5. Whoever shall reclaim and return any such animal to 
the rightful owner, other than the wrong-doer, as in the last sec- 
tion mentioned, shall receive therefor the sum of two and fifty- 
hundredths dollars. 

Sec. 6. In all cases of theft, the person or persons convicted of 
such theft shall be adjudged to pay all costs and damages result- 
ing therefrom ; and in case of the final loss of any animal stolen, 
then the offender shall pay the price thereof in addition to the 
costs and damages, as provided in a previous section. 

Sec. 7. Whoever shall steal any swine or sheep shall, for the 
first offence, be fined the sum of fifteen dollars; ten of which 


shall be paid to the owner of the sheep or swine taken, and five 
dollars to the witness of the theft; for the second offence the 
thief shall, in addition to the above penalty, be confined in jail 
for twenty-eight days; and for the third offence the thief shall be 
confined four weeks in jail, and then receive a trial, and bear such 
punishment as may be adjudged upon such trial. 

Sec. 8. Whoever shall steal a fowl of any description shall, for 
the first offence, pay to the owner of such animal the sum of five 
dollars; for the second offence, in addition to the above penalty, 
the thief shall be confined in jail for twenty-one days. The wit- 
ness by whom such theft shall be proven shall be entitled to re- 
ceive such reasonable compensation as may be allowed to him, to 
be paid by the offender. 

Sec. 9. A lawful fence shall be eight rails high, well staked and 
ridered. If any animal shall break through or over a lawful 
fence, as above defined, and do any damage, the owner of the 
enclosure shall give notice thereof to the owner of such animal, 
without injury to the animal. The owner of such animal shall 
therefore take care of the same, and prevent his doing damage; 
but should he neglect or refuse so to do, the animal itself shall be 
sold to pay for the damage it may have done. But if the prem- 
ises be not enclosed by a lawful fence, as above defined, the owner 
of the enclosure shall receive no damages ; but should he injure 
any animal getting into such enclosure, shall pay for any damage 
he may do such animal. 

Sec. 10. Every owner of stock shall have his or her brand or 
mark put on such stock, and a description of the brand or mark 
of every person in the tribe shall be recorded by the national 



Sec. 1. Whoever shall maliciously set fire to a house shall, for 
the first offence, pay to the owner of such house all damages 
which he may sustain in consequence of such fire ; and, iii addi- 
tion thereto, for the second offence shall be confined in jail for 
the term of twenty-one days. 

Sec. 2. Should human life be sacrificed in consequence of any 
such fire, the person setting fire as aforesaid shall suffer death by 

Sec. 3. It shall be unlawful for any person to set on fire any 
woods or prairie, except for the purpose of protecting property, 
and then only at such times as shall permit the person so setting 
the fire to extinguish the same. 


Sec. 4. Whoever shall violate the provisions of the last preced- 
ing section shall, for the first offence, be fined the sum of fire 
dollars, and pay the full value of all property thereby destroyed; 
for the second offence, in addition to the penalty above described, 
the offender shall be confined in jail for the term of thirty-five 
days ; and for the third offence the same punishment, except that 
the confinement in jail shall be for the period of three months. 

Sec. 5. Any person living outside of the reserve cutting hay 
upon the land of one living on the reserve, shall pay to the owner 
of such land the sum of one dollar per acre, or one-half of the hay 
so cut. 

Sec. 6. ]STo person shall sell any wood on the reserve, except said 
wood be first cut and corded. 


Sec. 1. Whoever shall find any lost article shall forthwith return 
the same to the owner, if he can be found, under the penalty 
imposed for stealing such article, for a neglect of such duty. 

Sec. 2. Whoever shall take any article of property without per- 
mission of its owner shall pay the price of the article so taken, 
and receive such punishment as the judge in his discretion may 


Sec. 1. Whoever shall take up any animal on the reserve as a 
stray shall, within one week, have the description of such animal 
recorded in the stray-book kept by the council. 

Sec. 2. If the owner of said stray shall claim the same within 
one year from the day on which the description was recorded, he 
shall be entitled to take it, after duly proving his property, and 
paying at the rate of five dollars per month for the keeping of 
such animal. 

Sec. 3. The title to any stray, duly recorded, and not claimed 
within one year from the date of such record, shall rest absolutely 
in the person taking up and recording the same. 

Sec. 4. Whoever shall take up a stray, and refuse or neglect to 
record a description of the same, as provided in Section 1 of this 
Article, shall be deemed to have stolen such animal, if the same 
be found in his possession, and shall suffer the penalties inflicted 
for stealing like animals. The stray shall be taken from him, and 
remain at the disposal of the council, and a description of the same 
shall be recorded in the stray-book. 



Sec. 1. If a person commit murder in the first degree, he shall, 
upon conviction, suffer the penalty of death ; but if the evidence 
against him be insufficient, or if the killing be done in self-defence, 
the person doing the killing shall be released. 

Sec. 2. Whoever shall, by violence, do bodily harm to the per- 
son of another shall be arrested, and suffer such punishment as 
may on trial be adjudged against him ; and should death result 
from such bodily harm done to the person of another, the offender 
shall be arrested, and suffer such punishment as may be adjudged 
against him. 

Sec. 3. Whoever shall wilfully slander an innocent party shall 
be punished for such slander at the discretion of the judge. 

Sec. 4. Whoever, being intoxicated or under the influence of 
liquor, shall display at the house of another, in a dangerous or 
threatening manner, any deadly weapons, and refuse to desist 
therefrom, being commanded so to do, and put up such weapons, 
either by the owner of the house or by any other person, shall for 
the first offence be fined the sum of five dollars, and pay all dam- 
ages which may accrue ; for the second offence shall be confined 
in jail twenty-one days, and pay a fine of ten dollars, and pay all 
damages which may accrue; and for the third offence shall be 
imprisoned in the jail for thirty-five days, be fined twenty dollars, 
and pay all damages as aforesaid. 

Sec. 5. Officers sh.aU be appointed to appraise all damages 
accruing tinder the last preceding section, who shall hear all 
the evidence, and render judgment according to the law and the 

Sec. 6. Whoever shall, being under the influence of liquor, 
attend public worship or any other public meeting, shall first 
be commanded peaceably to depart; and if he refuses, it shall be 
the duty of the sheriff to arrest and confine such person until he 
becomes sober; and the offender shall pay a fine of five dollars. 

Sec. 7. It shall be the duty of the sheriff to attend all meetings 
for public worship. 

Sec. 8. No member of the Delaware nation shall be held liable 
for any debts contracted in the purchase of intoxicating liquors. 

Sec. 9. The United States Agent and the chiefs shall have power 
to grant license to bring merchandise to the national payment 
ground for sale to so many traders as they may think proper for 
the interest of the nation. 


Sec. 10. It shall be unlawful for any one person to bring any 
kind of drinks, except coffee, on the payment ground ; and any 
person who shall offend against this section shall forfeit his drink- 
ables and his right to remain on the payment ground. 

Sec. 11. It shall be unlawful for any one person to bring within 
the reserve more than one pint of spirituous liquors at any one 
time. For the first offence against this section the offender shall 
forfeit his liquors, and pay a fine of five dollars ; for the second 
offence he shall forfeit his liquors, and pay a fine of ten dollars ; 
and for the third offence he shall forfeit his liquors, and be fined 
the sum of twenty-five -dollars. 

Sec. 12. Any person who shall find another in possession of 
more than one pint of liquor at one time upon the reserve may 
lawfully spill and destroy the same, and shall use such force as 
may be necessary for such purpose. Should the owner resist, and 
endeavor to commit bodily harm upon the person engaged in 
spilling or destroying said liquor, he shall be taken into custody 
by the sheriff, and be punished as an offender against the law. 

Sec. 13. The sheriff may lawfully compel any man or any num- 
ber of men, ministers of the Gospel excepted, to assist in capturing 
any person who shall violate these laws. 

Sec. 14. Whoever shall offer resistance, to any capture or arrest 
for violating any of the provisions of these laws shall be punished, 
not only for the original offence for which he was arrested, but 
also for resisting an officer. 


Sec. 1. All business affecting the general interest of the nation 
shall be transacted by the council in regular sessions. 

Sec. 2. All personal acts of chiefs, councillors, or private indi- 
viduals, in such matters as affect the general interest of the na- 
tion, shall be considered null and void. 

Sec. 3. Whoever shall violate the last preceding section by un- 
dertaking, in a private cajpacity and manner, to transact public 
and national business, shall be imprisoned in the national jail 
for a period not less than six months nor more than one year, and 
shall forfeit his place of office or position in the nation ; which 
place or position shall be filled by the appointment of other suit- 
able persons. 

Sec. 4. Councillors shall be appointed who shall take an oath 
faithfully to perform their duties to the nation, and for neglect 
of such duties others shall be appointed to fill their places. 



Sec. 5. Should a councillor go on a journey, so that it is impos- 
sible for him to attend the meetings of the council regularly, he 
may appoint a substitute who shall act for him in his absence. 

Sec. 6. Certain days shall be set apart for council and court 

Sec. 7. The chiefs and councillors shall appoint three sheriffs, 
at a salary of one hundred and fifty dollars per annum each ; one 
clerk, at one hundred dollars per annum; and one jailer, at a sal- 
ary of one hundred dollars per annum, whose salary shall be due 
and payable half-yearly; and in case either of the above officers 
shall neglect or refuse to perform any of the duties of his office, 
he shall forfeit his salary, and his office shall be declared vacant, 
and another shall be appointed to fill the office. 

Sec. 8. The chiefs and councillors shall semi-annually, in April 
and October, make an appropriation for national expenses, which 
appropriation shall be taken from the trust fund, or any other due 
the Delawares, and paid to the treasury. 

Sec. 9. There shall be a treasurer appointed annually, on the 
first day of April, whose duty it shall be to receive and disburse 
all moneys to be used for national purposes ; but the treasurer 
shall pay out money only on order of chiefs and councillors, and 
for his services shall be paid five per cent, on the amount dis- 


Sec. I. It shall be lawful for any person, before his or her death, 
to make a will, and thereby dispose of his or her property as he 
or she may desire. 

Sec. 2. If a man dies, leaving no will to show the disposal of his 
property, and leaves a widow and children, one-fourth of his prop- 
erty shall be set aside for the payment of his debts. Should the 
property so set aside be insufficient to pay all his debts in full, it 
shall be divided among his creditors pro rata, which pro rata pay- 
ment shall be received by his creditors in full satisfaction of all 
claims and demands whatever. 

Sec. 3. If the property so set apart for the payment of debts 
is more than sufficient to pay all debts, the remainder shall be 
equally divided among the children. 

Sec. 4. The widow shall be entitled to one-third of the property 
not set aside for the payment of debts. 

Sec. 5. If a man dies, leaving no widow or children, his debts 
shall first be paid out of the proceeds of his personal property, 


and the remainder, if any, with the real estate, shall be given to 
the nearest relative. 

Sec. 6. Whoever shall take or receive any portion of the prop- 
erty belonging to the widow and orphans, shall be punished as 
if he had stolen the property. 

Sec. 7. The council shall appoint guardians for orphan children 
when they deem it expedient so to do. 


Sec. 1. If a white man marry a member of the nation, and accu- 
mulate property by such marriage, said property shall belong to 
his wife and children; nor shall he be allowed to remove any 
portion of such property beyond the limits of the reserve. 

Sec. 2. Should such white man lose his wife, all the property 
shall belong to the children, and no subsequent \vife shall claim 
any portion of such property. 

Sec. 3. Should such white man die in the nation, leaving no 
children, all his property shall belong to his wife, after paying 
his debts. 

Sec. 4. Should such white man lose his wife, and have no chil- 
dren, one-half of the personal property shall belong to Mm, and 
the other half shall belong to his wife's nearest relatives. 

Sec. 5. Should such white man be expelled from the reserve, 
and the wife choose to follow her husband, she shall forfeit all 
her right and interest in the reserve. 


Sec. 1. No member of the nation shall lease any grounds to 
persons not members of the nation. 

Sec. 2. Should a white man seek employment of any member 
of the nation, he shall first give his name to the United States 
Agent, and furnish him with a certificate of good moral character, 
and also a statement of the time for which he is employed, and 
the name of his employer. 

Sec. 3. The employed shall pay all hired help according to 

Sec. 4. Any person or persons violating any of the provisions 
of these laws on the reserve shall be punished as therein pro- 

Sec. 5. All white men on the reserve disregarding these laws 
shall also "be expelled from the reserve. 



Sec. 1. Whoever shall forcibly compel any woman to commit 
adultery, or who shall commit a rape upon a woman, shall, lor tbe 
first offence, be fined the sum of fifty dollars, and be imprisoned 
in jail for thirty-five days ; for the second offence he shall be fined 
one hundred dollars, and be confined three months in the national 
jail; and for the third offence he shall be punished as the court 
shall see proper. 



"SEQUOYAH, a Cherokee Indian, instead of joining the rude 
sports of Indian boys while a child, took great delight in exer- 
cising his ingenuity by various mechanical labors. He also as- 
sisted in the management of his mother's property, consisting of 
a farm and cattle and horses. In his intercourse with the whites 
he became aware that they possessed an art by which a name im- 
pressed upon a hard substance might be understood at a glance 
by any one acquainted with the art. He requested an educated 
half-breed, named Charles Hicks, to write his name; which be- 
ing done, he made a die containing .a fac-simile of the word, 
which he stamped upon all the articles fabricated by his mechan- 
ical ingenuity. From this he proceeded to the art of drawing, in 
which he made rapid progress before he had the opportunity of 
seeing a picture or engraving. These accomplishments made the 
young man very popular among his associates, and particularly 
among the red ladies ; but it was long before incessant adulation 
produced any evil effect upon his character. At length, however, 
he was prevailed upon to join his companions, and share in the 
carouse which had been supplied by his own industry. But he 
soon wearied of an idle and dissipated life, suddenly resolved to 
give up drinking, and learned the trade of a blacksmith by his 
own unaided efforts. In the year 1820, while on a visit to some 
friends in a Cherokee village, he listened to a conversation on the 
art of writing, which seems always to have been the subject of 
great curiosity among the Indians. Sequoyah remarked that he 
did not regard the ait as so very extraordinary, and believed he 
could invent a plan by which the red man might do the same 


thing. The company were incredulous; but the matter had long 
been the subject of his reflections, and he had come to the con- 
clusion that letters represented words or ideas, and being always 
uniform, would always convey the same meaning. His first plan 
was to invent signs for words; but upon trial he was speedily 
satisfied that this would be too cumbrous and laborious, and he 
soon contrived the plan of an alphabet which should represent 
sounds, each character standing for a syllable. He persevered in 
carrying out his intention, and attained his object by forming 
eighty-six characters. 

" While thus employed he incurred the ridicule of his neighbors, 
and was entreated to desist by his friends. The invention, how- 
ever, was completely successful, and the Cherokee dialect is now 
a written language ; a result entirely due to the extraordinary 
genius of Sequoyah. After teaching many to read and write, he 
left the Cherokee nation in 1822 on a visit to Arkansas, and 
introduced the art among the Cherokees who had emigrated to 
that country; and, after his return home, a correspondence was 
opened in the Cherokee language between the two branches of 
the nation. In the autumn of 1823 the General Council bestowed 
upon him a silver medal in honor of his genius, and as an expres- 
sion of gratitude for his eminent public services." North Ameri- 
can Review. 

" We may remark, with reference to the above, that as each let- 
ter of this alphabet represents one of eighty-six sounds, of which 
in various transpositions the language is composed, a Cherokee 
can read as soon as he has learned his alphabet. It is said that 
a clever boy may thus be taught to read in a single day." The 
Saturday Magazine, London, April, 1842. 



" IN the wars between France and England and their colo- 
nies, their Indian, allies were entitled to a premium for every 
scalp of an enemy." In the war preceding 1703 the Government 
of Massachusetts gave twelve pounds for every Indian scalp. 
In 1722 it was augmented to one hundred pounds a sum suffi- 
cient to purchase a considerable extent of American land. On 
the 25th of February, 1745, an act was passed by the American 
colonial legislature, entitled * An Act for giving a reward for 


scalps.' "Sketches of the History, Manners, and Customs of the 
North American Indians, by JAMES BUCHANAN, 1824. 

" There was a constant rivalry between the Governments of 
Great Britain, France, and the United States as to which of them 
should secure the services of the barbarians to scalp their white 
enemies, while each in turn was the loudest to denounce the 
shocking barbarities of such tribes as they failed to secure in 
their own service; and the civilized world, aghast at these horrid 
recitals, ignores the fact that nearly every important massacre 
in the history of North America was organized and directed by 
agents of some one of these Governments." GALE, Upper Mis- 


ART. 6th of the treaty of Oct. 14th, 1865, between the United 
States and the chiefs and headmen representing the confederated 
tribes of the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians: 

" The United States being desirous to express its condemnation 
of, and as far as may be repudiate the gross and wanton outrages 
perpetrated against certain bands of Cheyenne and Arapahoe In- 
dians by Colonel J. M. Chivington, in command of United States 
troops, on the 29th day of November, 1864, at Sand Creek, in 
Colorado Territory, while the said Indians were at peace -with the 
United States and under its flag, whose protection they had by 
lawful authority been promised and induced to seek, and the 
Government, being desirous to make some suitable reparation for 
the injuries thus done, will grant 320 acres of land by patent to 
each of the following named chiefs of said bands, * * * and will 
in like manner grant to each other person of said bands made a 
widow, or who lost a parent on that occasion, 160 acres of land. 
* * * The United States will also pay in United States securities, 
animals, goods, provisions, or such other useful articles as may in 
the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior be deemed best adapt- 
ed to the respective wants and conditions of the persons named 
in the schedule hereto annexed, they being present and members 
of the bands who suffered at Sand Creek on the occasion afore- 
said, the sums set opposite their names respectively, as a compensa- 
tion for property belonging to them, and then and there destroyed 
or taken from them by the United States troops aforesaid." 


One of the Senate amendments to this treaty struck out the 
words " by Colonel J. M. Chivington, in command of United States 
troops." If this were done with a view of relieving " Colonel J. 
M. Chivington " of obloquy, or of screening the fact that " United 
States troops " were the instruments by which the murders were 
committed, is not clear. But in either case the device was a 
futile one. The massacre will be known as " The Chivington 
Massacre " as long as history lasts, and the United States must 
bear its share of the infamy of it. 


IN his report for 1877 the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 
Dakota says : "Orders have been received to stop cutting of wood 
by Indians, to pay them for what they have already cut, to take 
possession of it and sell it. This I am advised is under a recent 
decision which deprives Indians of any ownership in the wood 
until the land is taken by them in severally. If agents do not en- 
force these orders , they lay themselves liable. If they do enforce 
them, the Indians are deprived of what little motive they have for 
labor. In the mean time, aliens of all nations cut wood on Indian 
lands, sell to steamboats, fill contracts for the army and for In- 
dian agencies at high prices. * * * Cutting wood is one of the 
very few things an Indian can do in Dakota at this tune." 



[This narrative was written by a well-known army officer, correspondent of the 
Army and Navy Journal, and appeared in that paper Nov. 1st, 1879.] 

THE history of that affair (the Walla Walla Massacre) was never 
written, we believe ; or, if it was, the absolute facts in the case were 
.never given by 'any unprejudiced person, and it may be interest- 
ing to not a few to give them here. The story, as told by our 
Washington correspondent, " Ebbitt," who was a witness of the 
scenes narrated, is as follows: 

" The first settlements in Oregon, some thirty years ago, were 


made by a colony of Methodists. One of the principal men 
among them was the late Mr. or Governor Abernethy, as he was 
called, as he was for a short time the prominent Governor of Ore- 
gon. He was the father-in-law of our genial Deputy Quartermas- 
ter-general Henry C. Hodges, an excellent man, and he must not 
be remembered as oiie of those who were responsible for the shock- 
ing proceedings which we are about to relate. A minister by the 
name of Whitman, we believe, had gone up to the Walla Walla 
region, where he was kindly received by the Cayuse and other 
friendly Indians, who, while they did not particularly desire to 
be converted to the Christian faith as expounded by one of Wes- 
ley's "followers, saw no special objection to the presence of the 
missionary. So they lived quietly along for a year or two; then 
the measles broke out among the Indians, and a large number of 
them were carried off. They were told by their medicine men 
that the disease was owing to the presence of the whites, and Mr. 
Whitman was notified that he must leave their country. Filled 
with zeal for the cause, and not having sense enough to grasp the 
situation, he refused to go. 

" At this time the people of the Hudson's Bay Company had 
great influence with all the Indians in that region, and the good 
old Governor Peter Skeen Ogden was the chief factor of the Com- 
pany at Fort Vancouver., He was apprised of the state of ieeling 
among the Indians near the mission by the Indians themselves, 
and he was entreated by them to urge Whitman to go away, for 
if he did not he would surely be killed. The governor wrote up 
to the mission advising them to leave, for a while at least, until 
the Indians should become quiet, which they would do as soon 
as the measles had run its course among them. His efforts were 
useless, and sure enough one day in 1847, we believe, the mission 
was cleaned out, the missionary and nearly all of those connected 
with it being killed. 

' ' An Indian war follows. This was carried on for some months, 
and with little damage, but sufficient for a claim by the territory 
upon the General Government for untold amounts of money. Two 
or three years later, when the country had commenced to fill up 
with emigration, and after the regiment of Mounted Riflemen and 
two companies of the First Artillery had taken post in Oregon, 
the people began to think that it would be well to stir up the 
matter of the murder of the Whitman family. General Joseph 
Lane had been sent out as governor in 1849, and he doubtless 
thought it would be a good thing for him politically to humor 


the people of the territory. Lane was a vigorous, resolute, West- 
ern man, who had been a general officer during the Mexican war, 
and he then had Presidential aspirations. So the governor came 
to Fort Vancouver, where the head-quarters of the department 
were established, under Colonel Loring, of the Mounted Rifles, 
and procured a small escort, with which he proceeded to hunt 
up the Indians concerned in the massacre, and demand their sur- 
render. By this time the Indians had begun to comprehend the 
power of the Government; and when the governor found them, 
and explained the nature of his mission, they went into council to 
decide what was to be done. After due deliberation, they were 
convinced that if they were to refuse to come to any terms they 
would be attacked by the soldiers, of whom they then had deadly 
fear, and obliged to abandon their country forever. So they 
met the governor, and the head chief said that they had heard 
what he had' to say. It was true that his people had killed the 
whites at the mission, but that they did so for the reason that 
they really thought that a terrible disease had been brought 
among them by the whites; that they had begged them to go 
away from them, for they did not wish to kill them, and that 
they only killed them to save their own lives, as they thought. 
He said that for this the whites from down the Columbia had 
made war upon them, and killed many more of their people than 
had been killed at the mission, and they thought they ought to be 
satisfied. As they were not, three of their principal men had vol- 
unteered to go back with the governor to Oregon City to be tried 
for the murder. This satisfied the governor, and the men bid 
farewell to their wives and little ones and to all their tribe, for 
they very well knew that they would never see them again. 
They knew that they were going among those who thirsted for 
their blood, and that they were going to their death, and that 
death the most ignominious that can be accorded to the red man, 
as they were to be hung like dogs. 

" The governor and his party left. The victims gave one long 
last look at the shore as they took the little boat on the Columbia, 
but no word of complaint ever came from their lips. When they 
arrived at Fort Vancouver we had charge of these Indians. They 
were not restrained in any way no guard was ever kept over 
them, for there was no power on earth that could have made them 
falter in their determination to go down to Oregon City, and die 
like men for the salvation of their tribe. 

" At Oregon City these men walked with their heads erect, and 


with the bearing of senators, from the little boat, amidst the jibes 
and jeers of a brutal crowd, to the jail which was to be the last 
covering they would ever have over their heads. 

41 The trial came on, the jury was empanelled, and Captain 
Claiborne, of the Mounted Rifles, volunteered to defend the In- 
dians, who were told that they were to have a fair trial, and that 
they would not be punished unless they were found guilty. To 
all this they paid no heed. They said it was all right, but they 
did not understand a word of what they were compelled to listen 
to for several days, and they cared nothing for the forms of the 
law. They had come to die, and when some witnesses swore that 
they recognized them as the very Indians who killed Whitman- 
all of which was explained to themnot a muscle of their faces 
changed, although it was more than suspected that the witnesses 
were never near the mission at the time of the massacre. The 
trial was over, and, of course, the Indians were condemned to be 
hanged. Without a murmur or sigh of regret, and with a dignity 
that would have impressed a Zulu with profound pity, these 
men walked to the gallows and were hung, while a crowd of 
civilized Americans men, women, and children of the nine- 
teenth century looked on and laughed at their last convulsive 

" We have read of heroes of all times, but never did we read 
of or believe that such heroism as these Indians exhibited could 
exist. They knew that to be accused was to be condemned, and 
they would be executed in the civilized town of Oregon City just 
as surely as would a poor woman accused of being a witch have 
been executed in the civilized and Christian town of Salem, in the 
good State of Massachusetts, two hundred years ago. 

" A generation has passed away since the execution or murder 
of these Indians at Oregon City. Governor Lane still lives, not as 
ex-President, but as a poor but vigorous old man down in the 
Rogue River Valley. The little nasty town of Oregon City was 
the scene of a self-immolation as great as any of which we read 
in history, and there were not three persons there who appre- 
ciated it, The accursed town 1 is, we hear, still nastier than ever, 
and the intelligent jury no man of whom dared to have a word 
of pity or admiration for those poor Indians with the spectators 
of that horrid scene, are either dead and damned, or they are sunk 
in the oblivion that is the fate of those who are born without 





[From the Report of Francis A. Walker, United States Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs for the year 1872.] 

THE Indians within the limits of the United States, exclusive 
of those in Alaska, number, approximately, 300,000. 

They may be divided, according to their geographical location 
or range, into five grand divisions, as follows: in Minnesota, and 
States east of the Mississippi River, ahout 32,500; in Nebraska, 
Kansas, and the Indian Territory, 70,650; in the Territories of 
Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, 65,000; in Nevada, and 
the Territories of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona, 
84,000; and on the Pacific slope, 48,000. * * * As regards their 
means of support and methods of subsistence, they may be di- 
vided as follows : those who support themselves upon their own 
reservations, receivingjiothing from the Government except inter- 
est on their own moneys, or annuities granted them in considera- 
tion of the cession of their lands to the United States, number 
about 130,000 ; those who are entirely subsisted by the Govern- 
ment, about 31,000; those in part subsisted, 84,000, together, 
about 115,000; those who subsist by hunting and fishing, upon 
roots, nuts, berries, etc., or by begging and stealing, about 55,000. 


The Indians of New York, remnants of the once powerful 
" Six Nations," number 5070. They occupy six reservations in 
the State, containing in the aggregate 68,668 acres. Two of 
these reservations, vis., the Alleghany and Cattaraugus, belonged 
originally to the Colony of Massachusetts; but, by sale and assign- 
ment, passed into the hands of a company,, the Indians holding a 
perpetual right of occupancy, and the company referred to, or 
the individual members thereof, owning the ultimate fee. The 
same state of facts formerly existed in regard to the Tonawanda 


reserve ; but the Indians who occupy it have purchased the ulti- 
mate fee of a portion of the reserve, which is now held in trust 
for them by the Secretary of the Interior. The State of New 
York exercises sovereignty over these reservations. The reser- 
vations occupied by the Oneidas, Onondagas, and Tuscaroras 
have been provided for by treaty stipulations between the In- 
dians and the State of New York. All six reserves are held and 
occupied by the Indians in common. While the Indian tribes 
of the continent, with few exceptions, have been steadily de- 
creasing in numbers, those of New York have of late more than 
held their own, as is shown by an increase of 100 in the present 
reports over the reported number in 1871, and of 1300 over the 
number embraced in the United States census of 1860. On the 
New York reservations are twenty-eight schools ; the attendance 
during some portions of the past year exceeding 1100 ; the daily 
average attendance being 608. Of the teachers employed, fifteen 
are Indians, as fully competent for this position as their white 
associates. An indication of what is to be accomplished in the 
future, in an educational point of view, is found in the success- 
ful effort, made in August last, to establish a teacher's institute 
on the Cattaraugus Reservation for the education of teachers spe- 
cially for Indian schools. Thirty-eight applicants attended, and 
twenty-six are now under training. The statistics of individual 
wealth and of the aggregate product of agricultural and other in- 
dustry are, in general, favorable ; and a considerable increase in 
these regards is observed from year to year. Twenty thousand 
acres are under cultivation ; the cereal crops are good ; while no- 
ticeable success has been achieved in the raising of fruit. 


The bands or tribes residing in Michigan are the Chippewas of 
Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River; the Ofctawas and Chip- 
pewas; the Pottawattomies of Huron; and the L'Anse band of 

The CMppewas of Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River, num- 
bering 1630, and the Ottawas and Chippewas, 6039, are indigenous 
to the country. They are well advanced in civilization; have, 
with few exceptions, been allotted lands under treaty provisions, 
for which they have received patents; and are now entitled to all 
the privileges and benefits of citizens of the United States. Those 
to whom no allotments have been made can secure homesteads 
under the provisions of the Act of June 10th, 1872. All treaty 


stipulations with these Indians have expired. They now have 
no money or other annuities paid to them by the United States 
Government. The three tribes first named have in all four schools, 
with 115 scholars ; and the last, two schools, with 152 scholars. 

The Pottawattomies of Huron number about fifty. 

The L'Anse band of Chippewas, numbering 1195, belong with 
the other bands of the Chippewas of Lake Superior. They oc- 
cupy a reservation of about 48,300 acres, situated on Lake Supe- 
rior, in the extreme northern part of the State. But few of them 
are engaged in agriculture, most of them depending for their sub- 
sistence on hunting and fishing. They have two schools, with an 
attendance of fifty-six scholars. 

The progress of the Indians of Michigan in civilization and in- 
dustry has been greatly hindered in the past by a feeling of un- 
certainty in regard to their permanent possession and enjoyment 
of their homes. Since the allotment of land, and the distribution 
of either patents or homestead certificates to these Indians (the 
L'Anse or Lake Superior Chippewas, a people of hunting and 
fishing habits, excepted), a marked improvement has been man- 
ifested on their part in regard to breaking land and building 
houses. The aggregate quantity of land cultivated by the several 
tribes is 11,620 acres corn, oats, and wheat being the chief prod- 
ucts. The dwellings occupied consist of 244 frame and 835 log- 
houses. The aggregate population of the several tribes named 
(including the confederated " Chippewas, Ottawas, and Pottawat- 
tomies," about 250 souls, with whom the Government made a final 
settlement in 1866 of its treaty obligations) is, by the report of 
their agent for the current year, 9117 an increase over the num- 
ber reported for 1871 of 402; due, however, perhaps as much to 
the return of absent Indians as to the excess of births over deaths. 
In educational matters these Indians have, of late, most unfortu- 
nately, fallen short of the results of former years; for the reason 
mainly that, their treaties expiring, the provisions previously ex- 
isting for educational uses failed. 


The bands or tribes in Wisconsin are the Chippewas of Lake 
Superior, the Menomonees, the Stockbridges, and Munsees, the 
Oneidas, and certain stray bands (so-called) of Winnebagoes, Pot- 
tawattomies, and Chippewas. 

TJie Chippewas of Lake Superior (under which head are in- 
cluded the following bands: Fond du Lac, Boise Forte, Grand 


Portage, Bed Cliff, Bad Biver, Lac de Flambeau, and Lac Court 
D'Oreille) number about 5150. They constitute a part of the 
Ojibways (anglicized in the term Chippewas) , formerly one of the 
most powerful and warlike nations in the north-west, embracing 
many bands, and ranging over an immense territory, extending 
along the shores of Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior to the 
steppes of the Upper Mississippi. Of this great nation large num- 
bers are still found in Minnesota, 'many in Michigan, and a frag- 
ment in Kansas. 

The bands above mentioned by name are at present located on 
several small reservations set apart for them by treaties of Sep- 
tember 30th, 1854, and April 7th, 1866, in Wisconsin and Minne- 
sota, comprising in all about 695,290 acres. By Act of Congress 
of May 29th, 1872, provision was made for the sale, with the con- 
sent of the Indians, of three of these reservations, viz., the Lac de 
Flambeau and Lac Court D'Oreille in Wisconsin, and the Fond 
du Lac in Minnesota ; and for the removal of the Indians located 
thereon to the Bad River Reservation, where there is plenty of 
good arable land, and where they can be properly cared for, and 
instructed in agriculture and mechanics. 

The greater part of these Indians at present lead a somewhat 
roving life, finding their subsistence chiefly in game hunted by 
them, in the rice gathered in its wild state, and in the fish afforded 
by waters conveniently near. Comparatively little is done in 
the way of cultivating the soil. Certain bands have of late been 
greatly demoralized by contact with persons employed in the con- 
struction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, the Hue of which runs 
near one (the Fond du Lac) of their reservations. Portions of 
this people, however, especially those situated at the Bad River 
Reservation, have begun to evince an earnest desire for self-im- 
provement, Many live in houses of rude construction, and raise 
small crops .of grain and vegetables ; others labor among the 
whites; and a number find employment in cutting rails, fence- 
posts, and saw-logs for the Government. In regard to the efforts 
made to instruct the children in letters, it may be said that, with- 
out being altogether fruitless, the results have been thus far mea- 
gre and somewhat discouraging. The majority of the parents pro- 
fess to wish to have their children educated, and ask for schools ; 
but when the means are provided and the work undertaken, the 
difficulties in the way of success to any considerable extent appear 
in the undisciplined character of the scholars, which has to be 
overcome by the teacher without parental co-operation, and in 


the great irregularity of attendance at school, especially on the 
part of those who are obliged to accompany their parents to the 
rice-fields, the sugar-camps, or the fishing-grounds. 

The Menomonees number 1362, and are located on a reservation 
of 230,400 acres in the north-eastern part of Wisconsin. They 
formerly owned most of the eastern portion of the State, and, by 
treaty entered into with the Government on the 18th of October, 
1848, ceded the same for a home in Minnesota upon lands that 
had been obtained by the United States from the Chippewas , 
but, becoming dissatisfied with the arrangement, as not having 
accorded them what they claimed to be rightfully due, subse- 
quently protested, and manifested great unwillingness to remove. 
In view of this condition of affairs, they were, by the President, 
permitted to remain in Wisconsin, and temporarily located upon 
the lands they now occupy, which were secured to them by a 
subsequent treaty made with the tribe on the 12th of May, 1854. 
This reservation is well watered by lakes and streams, the latter 
affording excellent power and facilities for moving logs and lumber 
to market ; the most of their country abounding with valuable 
pine timber. A considerable portion of the Menomonees have 
made real and substantial advancement in civilization; numbers 
of them are engaged in agriculture ; others find remunerative em- 
ployment in the lumbering camp established upon their reserva- 
tion, under the management of the Government Agent, while a few 
still return at times to their old pursuits of hunting and fishing. 

Under the plan adopted by the Department in 1871, in regard 
to cutting and selling the pine timber belonging to these Indians, 
2,000,000 feet have been cut and driven, realizing $23,731, of which 
individual Indians received for their labor over $3000, the treasury 
of the tribe deriving a net profit of five dollars per thousand feet. 
The agent estimates that, for labor done by the Indians upon the 
reservation, at lumbering, and for work outside on railroads, dur- 
ing the past year, about $20,000 has been earned and received, 
exclusive of the labor rendered in building houses, raising crops, 
making sugar, gathering rice, and hunting for peltries. The work 
of education upon the reservations has been of late quite unsatis- 
factory, but one small school being now in operation, with seventy 
scholars, the average attendance being fifty. 

TJie Stocklridfles and, numbering 250, occupy a reser- 
vation of 60,800 acres adjoining the Menomonees. The Stock- 
bridges came originally from Massachusetts and New York. Af- 
ter several removals, they, with the Munsees, finally located on 


their present reservation. Under the provisions of the Act of 
February 6th, 1871, steps are now being taken to dispose of all 
of their reservation, with the exception of eighteen sections best 
adapted for agricultural purposes, which are reserved for their 
future use. They have no treaty stipulations with the United 
States at the present time ; nor do they receive any annuities of 
any kind from the Government. These tribes indeed it may be 
said this tribe (the Stockbridges), for of the Munsees there prob- 
ably remain not more than half a dozen souls were formerly 
an intelligent, prosperous people, not a whit behind the most ad- 
vanced of the race, possessed of good farms, well instructed, and 
industrious. Unfortunately for them, though much to the ad- 
vantage of the Government, which acquired thereby a valuable 
tract of country for white settlement, they removed, in 1857, to 
their present place of abode. The change has proved highly det- 
rimental to their interests and prospects. Their new reservation, 
the greater part poor in soil and seriously affected by wet seasons 
and frequent frosts, has never yielded them more than a meagre 
subsistence. Many have for this reason left the tribe, and have 
been for years endeavoring to obtain a livelihood among the 
whites, maintaining but little intercourse with those remaining 
on the reservation, yet still holding their rights in the tribal prop- 
erty. The result has been bickerings and faction quarrels, preju- 
dicial to the peace and advancement of the community. More 
than one-half of the present membership of the tribe, from both 
the " citizen " and the * 4 Indian " parties, into which it has been 
long divided, are reported by the agent as having decided to 
avail themselves of the enrolment provisions in. the Act of Con- 
gress of February, 1871, before referred to, by which they will 
finally receive their share of the tribal property, and become citi- 
zens of the United States. Those who desire to retain their tribal 
relation under the protection of the United States may, under 
the act adverted to, if they so elect by their council, procure a 
new location for their future home. The school interests and re- 
ligious care of this people are under the superintendence of Mr. 
Jeremiah Slingerland, a Stockbridge of much repute for his intel- 
ligence, and his success in the cause of the moral and educational 
improvement of his people. 

The Oneidaa, numbering 1259, have a reservation of 60,800 acres 
near Green Bay. They constitute the greater portion of the tribe 
of that name (derived from Lake Oneida, where the tribe then 
resided), formerly one of the " Six Nations." * * * 



The Indians residing within the limits of Minnesota, as in the 
case of those of the same name living in Wisconsin, heretofore no- 
ticed, constitute a portion of the Ojibway or Chippewa nation, 
and comprise the following bands : Mississippi, Pillager, Winne- 
bagoshish, Pembina, Red Lake, Boise Forte, Fond du Lac, and 
Grand Portage. The last three bands, being attached to the 
agency for the Chippewas of Lake Superior, have been treated 
of in connection with the Indians of Wisconsin. The five first- 
named bands number in the aggregate about 6455 souls, and oc- 
cupy, or rather it is intended they shall ultimately occupy, ample 
reservations in the central and northern portion of the State, 
known as the White Earth, Leech Lake, and Red Lake reserva- 
tions, containing altogether about 4,672,000 acres a portion of 
which is very valuable for its pine timber. * * * 

Mississippi Bands. These Indians reside in different localities. 
Most of them are on their reservation at White Earth ; others are 
fit Mille Lac, Gull Lake, and some at White Oak Point reserva 
tions. Upon the first -named reservation operations have been 
quite extensive in the erection of school -buildings, dwelling- 
houses, shops, and mills, and in breaking ground. At one time 
during the past summer there was a prospect of an abundant 
yield from 300 acres sown in cereals; but, unfortunately, the 
grasshoppers swept away the entire crop ; and a second crop of 
buckwheat and turnips proved a failure. The Indians on this 
reservation are well-behaved, and inclined to be industrious. 
Many of them are engaged in tilling the soil, while others are 
learning the mechanical arts ; and they may, as a body, be said 
to be making considerable progress in the pursuits of civilized 
life. About one-half of the Indians at Gull Lake have been re- 
moved to White Earth : the remainder are opposed to removal, 
uud will, in their present feeling, rather forfeit their annuities 
than change their location. The Mille Lac Chippewas, who con- 
tinue to occupy the lands ceded by them in 1863, with reserva- 
tion of the right to live thereon during good behavior, are indis- 
posed to leave their old home for the new one designed for them 
on the White Earth Reservation. Only about twenty -five have 
thus far been induced to remove. Their present reservation is 
rich in pine lands, the envy of lumber dealers ; and there is a 
strong pressure 011 all sides for their early removal. They should 
have help from the Government, whether they remain or remove; 



and this could be afforded to a sufficient extent by the sale foi 
their benefit of the timber upon the lands now occupied by them. 
Probably the Government could provide for them in no better way. 

The White Oak Point Chippewas were formerly known as Sandy 
Lake Indians. They were removed in 1867 from Sandy Lake and 
Eabbit Lake to White Oak Point, on the Mississippi, near the 
eastern part of the Leech Lake Reservation. This location is un- 
favorable to their moral improvement and material progress, from 
its proximity to the lumber camps of the whites. Thus far the 
effort made to better their condition, by placing them on farming 
land, has proved a failure. The ground broken for them has 
gone back into grass, and their log-houses are in ruins, the for- 
mer occupants betaking themselves to their wonted haunts. It 
would be well if these Indians could be induced to remove to the 
White Earth Reservation. 

At Red Lake the Indians have had a prosperous year: good 
crops of corn and potatoes have been raised, and a number of 
houses built. This band would be in much better circumstances 
were they possessed of a greater quantity of arable lands. That 
to which they are at present limited allows but five acres, suita- 
ble for that use, to each family. It is proposed to sell their tim- 
ber, and with the proceeds clear lands, purchase stock, and es- 
tablish a manual-labor school. 

The PemUna bands reside in Dakota Territory, but are here 
noticed in connection with the Minnesota Indians, because of 
their being attached to the same agency. They have no reserva- 
tion, having ceded their lands by treaty maae in 1868, but claim 
title to Turtle Mountain in Dakota, on which some of them re- 
sided at the time of the treaty, and which lies west of the line of 
the cession then made. They number, the full-bloods about 850, 
and the half-breeds about 100. They lead a somewhat nomadic 
life, depending upon the chase for a precarious subsistence, in 
connection with an annuity from the Government of the United 

The Ohippewas of Minnesota have had but few educational ad- 
vantages; but with the facilities now being afforded, and with the 
earnest endeavors that are now being put forth by their agent 
and the teachers employed, especially at White Earth, it is ex- 
pected that their interests in this regard will "be greatly promoted. 
At White Earth school operations have been quite successful; so 
much so, that it will require additional accommodations to meet 
the demands of the Indians for the education of their childrea 


The only other school in operation is that at Red Lake, under the 
auspices of the American Indian Mission Association. 


There are now in Indiana about 345 Miamis, who did not go 
to Kansas when the tribe moved to that section under the treaty 
of 1840. They are good citizens, many being thrifty farmers, giv- 
ing no trouble either to their white neighbors or to the Govern- 
ment. There is also a small band called the Eel River band of 
Miamis, residing in this State and in Michigan. 


CheroJcees. There are residing in these States probably about 
1700 Cherokees, who elected to remain, under the provisions re- 
specting Cherokees averse to removal, contained in the twelfth ar- 
ticle of the treaty with the Cherokees of 1835. Under the Act of 
Tuly 29th, 1848, a per capita transportation and subsistence fund 
of $53 83 was created and set apart for their benefit, in accord- 
ance with a census-roll made under the provisions of said act; the 
interest on which fund, until such time as they shall individually 
remove to the Indian country, is the only money to which those 
?iamed in said roll, who are living, or the heirs of those who have 
< leceased, are entitled. This interest is too small to be of any ben- 
lifit; and some action should be taken by Congress, with a view 
t,)f having all business matters between these Indians and the Gov- 
ernment settled, by removing such of them west as now desire to 
|$o, and paying those who decline to remove the per capita fund 
referred to. The Government has no agent residing with these 
Indians. In accordance with their earnestly expressed desire to 
be brought under the immediate charge of the Government, as its 
wards, Congress, by law approved July 27th, 1868, directed that 
the Secretary of the Interior should cause the Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs to take the same supervisory charge of them as of 
other tribes of Indians; but this practically amounts to nothing, 
in the absence of means to carry out the intention of the law with 
any beneficial result to the Indians. The condition of this people 
is represented to be deplorable. Before the late Rebellion they 
were living in good circumstances, engaged, with all the success 
which could be expected, in farming, and in various minor indus- 
trial pursuits. Like all other inhabitants of this section, they 
suffered much during the war, and are now, from this and othei 
causes, much impoverished. 



Seminoles. There are a few Seniinoles, supposed to numbe* 
about 800, still residing in Florida being those, or the descend- 
ants of those, who refused to accompany the tribe when it re- 
moved to the West many years ago. But little is known of their 
condition and temper. 

The tribes residing in Nebraska, Kansas, and the Indian Terri- 
tory are divided as follows : in Nebraska, about 64=85 ; in Kansas, 
1500 ; in the Indian Territory, 62,465. 


The Indians in Nebraska are the Santee Sioux, Winnebagoes, 
Omahas, Pawnees, Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri, lowas, and the 
Otoes and Missourias. * * * 

Omahas. The Omahas, a peaceable and inoffensive people, num- 
bering 969, a decrease since 1871 of fifteen, are native to the coun- 
try now occupied by them, and occupy a reservation of 345,600 
acres adjoining the Winnebagoes. They have lands allotted to 
them in severalty, and have made considerable advancement in 
agriculture and civilization, though they still follow the chase to 
some extent. Under the provisions of the Act of June 10th, 1872, 
steps are being taken to sell 50,000 acres of the western part of 
their reservation. The proceeds of the sale of these lands will 
enable them to improve and stock their farms, build houses, etc., 
and, with proper care and industry, to become in a few years en- 
tirely self-sustaining. A few cottages are to be found upon this 
reservation. There are at present three schools in operation on 
this reservation, with an attendance of 120 scholars. 

Pawnees. The Pawnees, a warlike people, number 2447, an in- 
crease for the past year of eighty-three. They are located on a 
reservation of 288,000 acres, in the central part of the State. They 
are native to the country now occupied by them, and have for 
years been loyal to the Government, having frequently furnished 
scouts for the army in operations against hostile tribes or maraud- 
ing bands. Their location, so near the frontier, and almost in con- 
stant contact with the Indians of the plains, with whom they have 
been always more or less at war, has tended to retard their ad- 
vancement in the arts of civilization. They are, however, gradu- 


ally becoming more habituated to the customs of the whites, are 
giving some attention to agriculture, and, with the disappearance 
of the buffalo from their section of the country, will doubtless 
settle down to farming and to the practice of mechanical arts in 
earnest. The Act of June 10th, 1872, heretofore referred to, pro- 
vides also for the sale of 50,000 acres belonging to the Pawnees, 
the same to be taken from that part of their reservation lying 
south of Loup Fork. These lands are now being surveyed ; and 
it is believed that, with the proceeds of this sale, such improve- 
ments, in the way of building houses and opening and stocking 
farms, can be made for the Pawnees as will at an early day induce 
them to give their entire time and attention to industrial pur- 
suits. There are two schools in operation on the reservation 
one a manual-labor boarding-school, the other a day-school, with 
an attendance at both of 118 scholars. Provision was also made 
by Congress, at its last session, for the erection of two additional 
school-houses for the use of this tribe. 

Sacs and Foxes of t7ie Missouri. These Indians, formerly a portion 
of the same tribe with the Indians now known as the Sacs and 
Foxes of the Mississippi, emigrated many years ago from Iowa, 
and settled near the tribe of lowas, hereafter to be mentioned. 
They number at the present time but eighty-eight, having been 
steadily diminishing for years. They have a reservation of about 
16,000 acres, lying in the south-eastern part of Nebraska and the 
north-eastern part of Kansas, purchased for them from the lowas. 
Most of it is excellent land ; but they have never, to any consid- 
erable extent, made use of it for tillage, being almost hopelessly 
disinclined to engage in labor of any kind, and depending princi- 
pally for their subsistence, a very poor one, upon their annuity, 
which is secured to them by the treaty of October 81st, 1837, and 
amounts to $7870. By Act of June 10th, 1872, provision was made 
for the sale of a portion or all of their reservation, the proceeds of 
such sale to be expended for their immediate use, or for their re- 
moval to the Indian Territory or elsewhere. They have consent- 
ed to the sale of their entire reservation ; and, so soon as funds 
shall have been received from that source, steps will be taken to 
have them removed to the Indian Territory south of Kansas. 

lowas. These Indians, numbering at present 225, emigrated 
years ago from Iowa and North-western Missouri, and now have a 
reservation adjoining the Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri, contain- 
ing about 16,000 acres. They belong to a much better class of 
Indians than their neighbors the Sacs and Foxes, being ternpei* 


ate, frugal, industrious, and interested in the education of their 
children. They were thoroughly loyal during the late rebellion, 
and furnished a number of soldiers to the Union army. Many of 
them are good farmers ; and as a tribe they are generally extend- 
ing their agricultural operations, improving their dwellings, and 
adding to their comforts. A large majority of the tribe are anx- 
ious to have their reservation allotted in severalty ; and, inasmuch 
as they are not inclined to remove to another locality, it would 
seem desirable that their wishes in this respect should be com- 
plied with. One school is in operation on the reservation, with 
an attendance of sixty-eight scholars, besides an industrial home 
for orphans, supported by the Indians themselves. 

Otoes and Missourias. These Indians, numbering 464, an in- 
crease of fourteen over last year, were removed from Iowa and 
Missouri to their present beautiful and fertile reservation, com- 
prising 160,000 acres, and situated in the southern part of Ne- 
braska. Until quite recently they have evinced but little dispo- 
sition to labor for a support, or in any way to better their mis- 
erable condition ; yet cut off from their wonted source of subsist- 
ence, the buffalo, by their fear of the wild tribes which have taken 
possession of their old hunting-grounds, they have gradually been 
more nnd more forced to work for a living. Within the last three 
years many of them have opened farms and built themselves 
houses. A school has also been established, having an attend- 
ance of ninety-five scholars. 


The Indians still remaining in Kansas are the Kickapoos, Pot- 
tavrattomies (Prairie band), Ohippewas and Munsees, Miamis, and 
the Kansas or Kaws. 

Eicka/poos. The Kickapoos emigrated from Illinois, and are 
now located, to the number of 290, on a reservation of 19,200 
acres, in the north-eastern part of the State. During the late 
war a party of about one hundred, dissatisfied with the treaty 
made with the tribe in 1863, went to Mexico, upon representa- 
tions made to them by certain of their kinsmen living in that re- 
public that they would be welcomed and protected by the Mexi- 
can Government; but, finding themselves deceived, attempted to 
return to the United States. Only a few, however, succeeded in 
reaching the Kickapoo Agency. The Kickapoos now remaining 
in Mexico separated from the tribe more than twenty years ago, 
and settled among the southern Indians in the Indian Territory, 


on or near the Washita River, whence they went to Mexico. -<vh ere 
they still live, notwithstanding the efforts of the Government of 
late to arrange with Mexico lor their removal to the Indian Ter- 
ritory, and location upon some suitable reservation. Their raids 
across the border have been a sore affliction to the people of Tex- 
as j and it is important that the first promising occasion should 
be taken to secure their return to the United States^ and their es- 
tablishment where they may be carefully watched, and restrained 
from their depredatory habits, or summarily punished if they per- 
sist in them. The Kickapoos remaining in Kansas are peaceable 
and industrious, continuing to make commendable progress in the 
cultivation of their farms, and showing much interest in the edu- 
cation of their children. Under the provisions of the treaty of 
June 28th, 1862, a few of these Indians have received lands in sev- 
eralty, for which patents have been issued, and are now citizens 
of the United States. Two schools arc in operation among these 
Indians, with a daily average attendance of thirty-nine scholars. 

Pottawattomies.- The Prairie band is all of this tribe remaining 
in Kansas, the rest having become citizens and removed, or most 
of them, to the Indian Territory. The tribe, excepting those in 
"Wisconsin heretofore noticed, formerly resided in Michigan and 
Indiana, and removed to Kansas under the provisions of the trea- 
ty of 1846. The Prairie band numbers, as nearly as ascertained, 
about 400, and is located on a reserve of 77,357 acres, fourteen 
miles north of Topeka. Notwithstanding many efforts to educate 
and civilize these Indians, most of them still cling tenaciously to 
the habits and customs of their fathers. Some, however, have 
recently turned their attention to agricultural pursuits, and are 
now raising stock, and most of the varieties of grain produced by 
their white neighbors. They are also showing more interest in 
education than formerly one school being in operation on the 
reservation, with an attendance of eighty-four scholars. 

Chipp&was and Munsees. Certain of the Chippewas of Saginaw, 
Swan Creek, and Black River, removed from Michigan under the 
treaty of 1836 ; and certain Munsees, or Christian Indians, from 
Wisconsin under the treaty of 1839. These were united by the 
terms of the treaty concluded with them July 16th, 1859. The 
united bands now number only fifty-six. They own 4760 acres 
of land in Franklin County, about forty miles south of the town 
of Lawrence, holding the same in severalty, are considerably ad- 
vanced in the arts of life, and earn a decent living, principally by 
agriculture. They have one school in' operation, with an attend- 


ance of sixteen scholars. These Indians at present have no trea- 
ty with the United States; nor do they receive any assistance 
from the Government. 

Miamis. The Miamis of Kansas formerly resided in Indiana, 
forming one tribe with the Miamis still remaining in that State, 
but removed in 1846 to their present location, under the provi- 
sions of the treaty of 1840. 

Owing to the secession of a considerable number who have al- 
lied themselves with the Peorias in the Indian Territory, and also 
to the ravages of disease consequent on vicious indulgences, es- 
pecially in the use of intoxicating drinks, this band, which on 
its removal from Indiana embraced about five hundred, at present 
numbers but ninety-five. These have a reservation of 10,240 acres 
in Linn and Miami Counties, in the south-eastern part of Kansas, 
the larger part of which is held in severalty by them. 

The Superintendent of Indian Afairs, in immediate charge, in 
his report for this year says the Miamis remaining in Kansas are 
greatly demoralized, their school has been abandoned, and their 
youth left destitute of educational advantages. Considerable trou- 
ble has been for years caused by white settlers locating aggress- 
ively on lands belonging to these Indians, no effort for their ex- 
trusion having been thus far successful. 

Kansas or Raws. These Indians are native to the country they 
occupy. They number at present 593; in 1860 they numbered 
803. Although they have a reservation of 80,640 acres of good 
land in the eastern part of the State, they are poor and improvi- 
dent, and have in late years suffered much for want of the actual 
necessaries of life. They never were much disposed to labor, de- 
pending upon the chase for a living, in connection with the annui- 
ties due from the Government. They have been growing steadily 
poorer ; and even now, in their straitened circumstances, and un- 
der the pressure of want, they show but little inclination to en- 
gage in agricultural pursuits, all attempts to induce them to work 
having measurably proved failures. Until quite recently they 
could not even be prevailed upon to have their children educated. 
One school is now in operation, with an attendance of about forty- 
five scholars. By the Act of May 8th, 1872, provision was made 
for the sale of all the lands owned by these Indians in Kansas, 
and for their removal to the Indian Territory. Provision was 
also made, by the Act of June 5th, 1872, for their settlement with- 
in the limits of a tract of land therein provided to be set apart 
tor the Osages. Their lands in Kansas are now being appraised 


oy commissioners appointed for the purpose, preparatory to their 


The Indians at present located in the Indian Territory an ex- 
tensive district, bounded north by Kansas, east by Missouri and 
Arkansas, south by Texas, and west by the one hundredth merid- 
ian, designated by the commissioners appointed under Act of Con- 
gress, July 20th, 1867, to establish peace with certain hostile tribes, 
as one of two great Territories (the other being, in the main, the 
present Territory of Dakota, west of the Missouri) upon which 
might be concentrated the great body of all the Indians east of 
the Rocky Mountains are the Cherokccs, Choctaws, Chickasaws, 
Creeks, Seminoles, Senecas, Shawnees, Quapaws, Ottawas of Blan* 
chard's Fork and Roche de Bceuf, Peorias, and confederated Kas- 
kaskias,Weas and Piankeshaws,Wyandottes,Pottawattomies, Sacs 
and Foxes of the Mississippi, Osages, Kiowas, Comanches, the Ar- 
apahoes and Cheyennes of the south, the Wichitas and other affil- 
iated bands, and a small band of Apaches long confederated with 
the Kiowas and Comanches. * * * 

Choctaws and Chickasaws. These tribes are for certain national 
purposes confederated. The Choctaws, numbering 16,000 an in- 
crease of 1000 on the enumeration for 1871 have a reservation of 
6,688,000 acres in the south-eastern part of the Territory ; and 
the Chickasaws, numbering 6000, own a tract containing 4,877,600 
acres adjoining the Choctaws on the west. These tribes original- 
ly inhabited the section of country now embraced within the State 
of Mississippi, and were removed to their present location in ac- 
cordance with the terms of the treaties concluded with them, re- 
spectively, in 1820 and 1882. The remarks made respecting the 
language, laws, educational advantages, industrial pursuits, and 
advancement in the arts and customs of civilized life of the Cher* 
okees will apply in the main to the Choctaws and Chickasaws. 
The Choctaws have thirty-six schools in operation, with an at- 
tendance of 819 scholars; the Chickasaws eleven, with 379 schol- 
ars. The Choctaws, under the treaties of November 16th, 1805, 
October 18th, 1820, January 20th, 1825, and June 22d, 1855, re- 
ceive permanent annuities as follows : in money, $3000 ; for sup- 
port of government, education, and other beneficial purposes, 
$25,512 89; for support of light -horsemen, $600; and for iron 
and steel, $320. They also have United States and State stocks, 
held in trust for them by the Secretary of the Interior, to the 
amount of $506,427 20, divided as follows : on account of" Choctaw 



general fund," $454,000; of "Choctaw school fund," $52,427 20. 
The interest on these funds, and the annuities, etc., are turned 
over to the treasurer of the nation, and expended under the di- 
rection of the National Council in the manner and for the objects 
indicated in each case. The Cbickasaws, under Act of February 
25th, 1799, and treaty of April 28th, 1866, have a permanent an- 
nuity of $3000. They also have United States and State stocks, 
held in trust for them by the Secretary of the Interior, to the 
amount of $1,185,947 03f--$183,947 03f thereof being a "nation- 
al fund," and $2000 a fund for " incompetents." The interest on 
these sums, and the item of $3000 first referred to, are paid over 
to the treasurer of the nation, and disbursed by him under the 
direction of the National Council, and for such objects as that 
body may determine. 

Creeps. The Creeks came originally from Alabama and Georgia- 
They numbered at the latest date of enumeration 12,295, and have 
a reservation of 3,215,495 acres in the eastern and central part 
of the territory. They are not generally so far advanced as the 
Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws, but are making rapid 
progress, and will doubtless in a few years rank in all respects 
Krith their neighbors, the three tribes just named. The Creeks, 
by the latest reports, have thirty-three schools in operation ; one 
of which is under the management of the Methodist Mission So- 
ciety, and another supported by the Presbyterians. The number 
of scholars in all the schools is 760. These Indians have, under 
treaties of August 7th, 1790, June 16th, 1802, January 24th, 1826, 
August 7th, 1856, and June 14th, 1866, permanent annuities and 
interest on moneys uninvested as follows: in money, $68,258 40; 
for pay of blacksmiths and assistants, wagon-maker, wheelwright, 
iron and steel, $3250 ; for assistance in agricultural operations, 
$2000; and for education, $1000. The Secretary of the Interior 
holds in trust for certain members of the tribe, known as " or- 
phans," United States and State bonds to the amount of $76,999 66, 
the interest on which sum is paid to those of said orphans who 
are alive, and to the representatives of those who have deceased. 

Seminoks. The Seminoles, numbering 2398, an increase of 190 
over the census of 1871, have a reservation of 200,000 acres ad- 
joining the Creeks on the west. This tribe formerly inhabited 
the section of country now embraced in the State of Florida. 
Some of them removed to their present location under the provi- 
sions of the treaties of 1832 and 1833. The remainder of the tribe, 
instigated by the former chief, Osceola, repudiated the treaties, 


refused to remove, and soon after commenced depredating upon 
the whites. In 1835 these depredations resulted in war, which 
continued seven years, with Immense cost of blood and treasure. 
The Indians were at last rendered powerless to do further injury, 
and, after efforts repeated through several years, were finally, with 
the exception of a few who fled to the everglades, removed to a 
reservation in the now Indian territory. In 1866 they ceded to 
'the United States, by treaty, the reservation then owned by them, 
and purchased the tract they at present occupy. They are not so 
far advanced in the arts of civilized life as the Cherokees, Choc- 
taws, Chickasaws, and Creeks, hut are making rapid progress in 
that direction, and will, it is confidently believed, soon rank with 
the tribes named. They cultivate 7600 acres; upon which their 
raised during the past year 300,000 bushels of corn, and 600f.) 
bushels of potatoes. They live in log - houses, and own largw 
stocks of cattle, horses, and hogs. The schools of the Serninole,* 
number four, with an attendance of 169 scholars. 

They receive, under treaties made with them August 7th, 
1856, and March 21st, 1866, annuities, etc., as follows: interest oti 
$500,000, amounting to $25,000 annually, which is paid to them 
as annuity ; interest on $50,000, amounting to $2500 annually, for 
support of schools; and $1000, the interest on $20,000, for the 
support of their government. 

Senecas and Shawnees. The Senecas, numbering 214, and the 
Shawnees, numbering ninety, at the present time, removed, some 
thirty-five or forty years ago, from Ohio to their present location 
in the north-eastern corner of the territory. They suffered severely 
during the Rebellion, being obliged to leave their homes and fly 
to the north, their country being devastated by troops of both 
armies. Under the provisions of the treaty of 1867, made with 
these and other tribes, the Senecas, who were then confederated 
with the Shawnees, dissolved their connection with that tribe, 
sold to the United States their half of the reservation owned by 
them in common with the Shawnees, and connected themselves 
with those Senecas who then owned a separate reservation. The 
Shawnees now have a reservation of 24,960 acres, and the united 
Senecas one of 44,000 acres. These tribes are engaged in agri- 
culture to a considerable extent. They are peaceable and indus- 
trious. Many are thrifty farmers, and in comfortable circum- 
stances. They have one school in operation, with an attendance 
of thirty-six scholars, which includes some children of the Wyan* 
dotteSj which tribe has no schools. 


Quapaws. These Indians number at the present time about 
240. They are native to the country, and occupy a reservation 
of 104,000 acres in the extreme north-east comer of the territory. 
They do not appear to have advanced much within the past few 
years. In common with other tribes in that section, they suffered 
greatly by the late war, and were rendered very destitute. Their 
proximity to the border towns of Kansas, and the facilities there- 
by afforded for obtaining whiskey, have tended to retard their 
progress; but there has recently been manifested a strong desire 
for improvement; and with the funds derived from the sale of a 
part of their lands, and with the proposed opening of a school 
among them, better things are hoped for in the future. 

Ottowas. The Ottawas of Blanchard's Fork and Roche de 
Bceuf number, at the present time, 150. They were originally 
located in Western Ohio and Southern Michigan, and were re- 
moved, in accordance with the terms of the treaty concluded with 
them in 1831, to a reservation within the present limits of Kansas. 
Under the treaty of 1867 they obtained a reservation of 24,960 
acres, lying immediately north of the western portion of the 
Shawnee Reservation. They have paid considerable attention to 
education, are well advanced in civilization, and many of them 
are industrious and prosperous farmers. They have one school, 
attended by fifty-two scholars. The relation of this small band to 
the Government is somewhat anomalous, inasmuch as, agreeably to 
provisions contained in the treaties of 1862 and 1867, they have 
become citizens of the United States, and yet reside in the Indian 
country, possess a reservation there, and maintain a purely tribal 
organization. They removed from Franklin Co., Kansas, in 1870. 

Peorias, etc. The Peorias, Kaskaskias, Weas, and Piankeshaws, 
who were confederated in 1854, and at that time had a total pop- 
ulation of 259, now number 160. They occupy a reservation of 
72,000 acres, adjoining the Quapaw Reservation on the south and 
west. Under treaties made with these tribes in 1832, they re- 
moved to a tract within the present limits of Kansas, where they 
remained until after the treaty of 1867 was concluded with them, 
in which treaty provision was made whereby they obtained their 
present reservation. These Indians are generally intelligent, well 
advanced in civilization, and, to judge from the statistical reports 
of their agent, are very successful in their agricultural operations, 
raising crops ample for their own support. With the Peorias are 
about forty Miamis from Kansas. They have one school in oper- 
ation, with an attendance of twenty-nine scholars. 


Wyandottes. The Wyandottes number at the present time 222 
souls. Ten years ago there were 485. They occupy a reserva- 
tion of 20,000 acres, lying between the Seneca and Shawnee res- 
ervations. This tribe was located for many years in North-western 
Ohio, whence they removed, pursuant to the terms of the treaty 
made with them in 1842, to a reservation within the present lim- 
its of Kansas. By the treaty made with them in 1867 their pres- 
ent reservation was set apart for those members of the tribe who 
desired to maintain their tribal organization, instead of becoming 
citizens, as provided in the treaty of 1855. They are poor, and, 
having no annuities and but little force of character, are making 
slight progress in industry or civilization. They have been late- 
ly joined by members of the tribe, who, under the treaty, accepted 
citizenship. These, desiring to resume their relations with their 
people, have been again adopted into the tribe. 

Pottawattomies. These Indians, who formerly resided in Michi- 
gan and Indiana, whence they removed to Kansas, before going 
down into the Indian Territory numbered about 1600. They have, 
under the provisions of the treaty of 1861 made with the tribe, 
then residing in Kansas, become citizens of the United States. By 
the terms of said treaty they received allotments of land, and their 
proportion of the tribal funds, with the exception of their share 
of certain non-paying State stocks, amounting to $67,000, held in 
trust by the Secretary of the Interior for the Pottawattomies. Hav- 
ing disposed of their lands, they removed to the Indian Territory^ 
where a reservation thirty miles square, adjoining the Seminole 
Reservation on the west, had been, by the treaty of 1867, provided 
for such as should elect to maintain their tribal organization. It 
having been decided, however, by the Department that, as they 
had all become citizens, there was consequently no part of the 
tribe remaining which could lay claim, under treaty stipulations, 
to the reservation in the Indian Territory, legislation was had by 
Congress at its last session Act approved May 23d, 1872 by 
which these citizen Pottawattomies were allowed allotments of 
land within the tract originally assigned for their use as a tribe, 
to the extent of 160 acres to each head of family, and to each 
other person twenty-one years of age, and of eighty acres to each 
minor. Most if not all of them are capable of taking care of 
themselves ; and many of them are well-educated, intelligent, and 
thrifty farmers. 

Absentee Shwmees. These Indians, numbering 663, separated 
about thirty years ago from the main tribe, then located in Kan* 


sas, and settled in the Indian Territory, principally within the 
limits of the thirty miles square tract heretofore referred to in the 
remarks relative to the Pottawattornies, where they engaged in 
farming, and have since supported themselves without assistance 
from the Government. 

Sacs and Foxes. The Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi number 
at the present time 463. In 1846 they numbered 2478. They 
have a reservation of 483,340 acres, adjoining the Creeks on the 
west, and between the North Fork of the Canadian and the 
Red Fork of the Arkansas Rivers. They formerly occupied largo 
tracts of country in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri, whence they 
removed, by virtue of treaty stipulations, to a reservation within 
the present limits of Kansas. By the terms of the treaties of 
1859 and 1868 all their lands in Kansas were ceded to the United 
States, and they were given in lieu thereof their present reserva- 
tion. These Indians, once famous for their prowess in war, have 
not, for some years, made any marked improvement upon their 
former condition. Still they have accomplished a little, under 
highly adverse circumstances and influences, in tlie way of open- 
ing small farms and in building houses, and are beginning to 
show some regard for their women by relieving them of the bur- 
dens and labors heretofore required of them. There is hope of 
their further improvement, although they are still but one degree 
removed from the Blanket or Breech-clout Indians. They have 
one school in operation, with an attendance of only about twelve 
scholars. Three hundred and seventeen members of.these tribes, 
after then: removal to Kansas, returned to Iowa, where they were 
permitted to remain, and are now, under the Act of March 3d, 
1867, receiving their share of the tribal funds. They have pur- 
chased 419 acres of land in Tama County, part of which they are 
cultivating. They are not much disposed to work, however, on 
lands of their own, preferring to labor for the white farmers in 
their vicinity, and are still much given to roving and hunting. 

Osages. The Osages, numbering 3956, are native to the general 
section of the country where they now live. Their rescrvtition is 
bounded on the north by the south line of Kansas, east by the 
ninety -sixth degree of west longitude, and south and west by 
the Arkansas River, and contains approximately 1,760,000 acres. 
They still follow the chase, the buffalo being their main depend- 
ence for food. Their wealth consists in horses (of which they 
own not less than 12,000) and in cattle. 

Eiowas, Comanches, and Apaches. These tribes, confederated un- 


der present treaty stipulations, formerly ranged over an extensive 
country lying between the Rio Grande and the Red River. As 
nearly as can be ascertained, they number as follows: Kiowas, 
1930; Comanches, 3180; and Apaches, 380. They are now lo- 
cated upon a reservation secured to them by treaty made in 1867, 
comprising 3,549,440 acres in the south-western part of the In- 
dian Territory, west of and adjoining the Chickasaw country. 
Wild and intractable, these Indians, even the best of them, have 
given small signs of improvement in the arts of life ; and, sub- 
stantially, the whole dealing of the Government with them thus 
far has been in the way of supplying their necessities for food 
and clothing, with a view to keeping them upon their reserva- 
tion, and preventing their raiding into Texas, with the citizens of 
which State they were for many years before their present estab- 
lishment on terms of mutual hatred and injury. Some individu- 
als and bands have remained quiet and peaceable upon their res- 
ervation, evincing a disposition to learn the arts of life, to engage 
in agriculture, and to have their children instructed in letters. 
To these every inducement is being held out to take up land, and 
actively commence tilling it. Thus far they have under cultiva- 
tion but 100 acres, which have produced the past year a good 
crop of com and potatoes. The wealth of these tribes consists in 
horses and mules, of which they own to the number, as reported 
by their agent, of 16,500, a great proportion of the animals notori- 
ously having been stolen in Texas. 

However, it may be said, in a word, of these Indians, that their 
civilization must follow their submission to the Government, and 
that the first necessity in respect to them is a wholesome exam- 
ple, which shall inspire fear and command obedience. So long as 
four-fifths of these tribes take turns at raiding into Texas, openly 
and boastfully bringing back scalps and spoils to their reserva- 
tion, efforts to inspire very high ideas of social and industrial life 
among the communities of which the raiders form so large a part 
will presumably result in failure. 

Ara/pahoes and Cheymnes of tlie South. These tribes are native 
to the section of country now inhabited by them. The Arapahoes 
number at the present time 1500, and the Cheyennes 2000. By 
the treaty of 1867, made with these Indians, a large reservation 
was provided for them, bounded on the north by Kansas, on the 
east by the Arkansas River, and on the south and west by the 
Red Fork of the Arkansas. They have, however, persisted in a 
refusal to locate on this reservation ; and another tract, contain- 


ing 4,011,500 acres, north of and adjoining the Kiowa and Co 
manche Eeservation, was set apart for them by Executive order of 
August 10th, 1869. By Act of May 29th, 1872, the Secretary of 
the Interior was authorized to negotiate with these Indians for 
the relinquishment of their claim to the lands ceded to them by 
the said treaty, and to give them in lieu thereof a " sufficient and 
permanent location" upon lands ceded to the United States by 
the Creeks and Seminoles in treaties made with them in 1866. 
Negotiations to the end proposed were duly entered into with 
these trihes unitedly ; but, in the course of such negotiations, it 
has become the view of this office that the tribes should no long- 
er he associated in the occupation of a reservation. The Arapa- 
hoes are manifesting an increasing disinclination to follow farther 
the fortunes of the Cheyennes, and crave a location of their own. 
Inasmuch as the conduct of the Arapahoes is uniformly good, and 
their disposition to make industrial improvement very decided, it 
is thought that they should now be separated from the more tur- 
bulent Cheyennes, and given a place where they may carry out 
their better intentions without interruption, and without the ac- 
cess of influences tending to draw their young men away to folly 
and mischief. With this view a contract, made subject to the 
action of Congress, was entered into between the Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs and the delegation of the Arapahoe tribe which 
visited "Washington during the present season (the delegation be- 
ing fully empowered thereto by the tribe), by which the Arapa- 
hoes relinquish all their interest in the reservation granted them 
by the treaty of 1867, in consideration of the grant of a reserva- 
tion between the North Fork ,of the Canadian River and the Red 
Fork of the Arkansas River, and extending from a point ten miles 
east of the ninety-eighth to near the ninety-ninth meridian of 
west longitude. Should this adjustment of the question, so far 
as the Arapahoes are concerned, meet the approval of Congress, 
separate negotiations will be entered into with the Cheyennes, 
with a view to obtaining their relinquishment of the reservation 
of 1867, and their location on some vacant tract within the same 
general section of the Indian Territory. 

A considerable number of the Arapahoes are already engaged 
in agriculture, though at a disadvantage ; and, when the question 
of their reservation shall have been settled, it is confidently be- 
lieved that substantially the whole body of this tribe will turn 
their attention to the cultivation of the soil. Two schools are 
conducted for their benefit at the agency, having an attendance 


of thirty-five scholars. Of the Cheyennes confederated with the 
Arapahoes, the reports are less favorable as to progress made in 
industry, or disposition to improve their condition. Until 1867 
both these tribes, in common with the Kiowas and Coinanches, 
were engaged in hostilities against the white settlers in Western 
Kansas; but since the treaty made with them in that year they 
have, with the exception of one small band of the Cheyennes, re- 
mained friendly, and have committed no depredations. 

Wichitas, etc. The "Wichitas and other affiliated bands of 
Keechies, Wacoes, Towoccaroes, Caddoes, lonies, and Delawares, 
number 1250, divided approximately as follows : "Wichitas, 299 ; 
Keechies, 126 ; Wacoes, 140 ; Towoccaroes, 127 ; Caddoes, 392 ; 
lonies, 85; Delawares, 81. These Indians, fragments of once im- 
portant tribes originally belonging in Louisiana, Texas, Kansas, 
and the Indian Territory, were all, excepting the Wichitas and 
Delawares, removed by the Government from Texas, in 1859, to 
'the " leased district," then belonging to the Choctaws and Chick- 
asaws, where they have since resided, at a point on the Washita 
River near old Fort Cobb. They have no treaty relations with 
1;he Government, nor have they any defined reservation. They 
have always, or at least for many years, been friendly to the 
whites, although in close and constant contact with the Kiowas 
and Comanches. A few of them, chiefly Caddoes and Delawares, 
are engaged in agriculture, and are disposed to be industrious. 
Of the other Indians at this agency some cultivate small patches 
iin corn and vegetables, the work being done mainly by women ; 
but the most are content to live upon the Government. The Cad- 
does rank among the best Indians of the continent, and set an ex- 
ample to the other bands affiliated with them worthy of being 
more generally followed than it is. In physique, and in the vir- 
tues of chastity, temperance, and industry, they are the equals of 
many white communities. 

A permanent reservation should be set aside for the Indians of 
this agency ; and, with proper assistance, they would doubtless in 
a few years become entirely self-sustaining. But one school is in 
operation, with an attendance of eighteen scholars. These In- 
dians have no annuities ; but an annual appropriation of $50,000 
has for several years been made for their benefit. This money is 
expended for goods and agricultural implements, and for assist- 
ance and instruction in farming, etc. 


The tribes residing in Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho 
are divided as follows : in Dakota, about 28,000 ; Montana, 30,000 ; 
"Wyoming, 2000 ; and Idaho, 5000. The present temporary loca- 
tion of the Red Cloud Agency has, however, drawn just within 
the limits of Wyoming a body of Indians varying from 8000 to 
9000, who are here, and usually reckoned as belonging to Dakota. 


The Indians within the limits of Dakota Territory are the 
Sioux, the Poncas, and the Arickarees, Gros Ventres, and Man- 
dans. * * * 

Arickarees, QTOB Venfres, and Mandans. These tribes number 
2200, and have a reservation set apart for their occupancy by Ex- 
ecutive order of April 12th, 1870, comprising 8,640,000 acres, sit- 
uated in the north-western part of Dakota and the eastern part 
of Montana, extending to the Yellowstone and Powder rivers. 
They have no treaty with the Government, are now and have al- 
ways been friendly to the whites, are exceptionally known to the 
officers of the army and to frontiersmen as " good Indians," and 
are engaged to some extent in agriculture. Owing to the short- 
ness of the agricultural season, the rigor of the climate, and the 
periodical ravages of grasshoppers, their efforts in this direction, 
though made with a degree of patience and perseverance not 
usual in the Indian charncter, have met with frequent and dis- 
tressing reverses ; and it has from time to time been found neces- 
sary to tarnish them with more or less subsistence to prevent 
starvation. They are traditional enemies of the Sioux ; and the 
petty warfare maintained between them and the Sioux of the 
Grand River and Cheyenne River Agencies while, like most 
warfare confined to Indians alone, it causes wonderfully little loss 
of life serves to disturb the condition of these agencies, and to 
retard the progress of all the parties concerned. These Indians 
should be moved to the Indian Territory, south of Kansas, where 
the mildness of the climate and the fertility of the soil would 
repay their labors, and where, it is thought, from their willing- 
ness to labor and their docility under the control of the Govern- 
ment, they would in a few years become -wholly self-supporting. 
The question of their removal has been submitted to them, and 
they seem inclined to favor the project, but have expressed a de- 
sire to send a delegation of their chiefs to the Indian Territory, 


with a view of satisfying themselves as to the desirableness of the 
location. Their wishes in this respect should be granted early 
next season, that their removal and settlement may be effected 
during the coming year. Notwithstanding their willingness to 
labor, they have shown but little interest in education. Con- 
gress makes an appropriation of $75,000 annually for goods and 
provisions, for their instruction in agricultural and mechanical 
pursuits, for salaries of employe's, and for the education of their 
children, etc. 


The Indian tribes residing within the limits of Montana are the 
Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegans, the G-ros Ventres of the Prairie, 
the Assinaboines, the Yanktonais, Santee and Teton (so-called) 
Sioux, a portion of the Northern Arapahoes and Oheycnnes, the 
River Crows, the Mountain Crows, the Flat-heads, Pend d'Oreilles 
and Kootenays, and a few Shoshones, Bannocks, and Sheep-eaters, 
numbering in the aggregate about 32,413. They are all, or nearly 
all, native to the regions now occupied by them, respectively. 

The following table will exhibit the population of each of these 
tribes, as nearly as the same can be ascertained : 

Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegana " . 7600 

Assinaboines 4790 

GrosVentree 1100 

San tee, Yanktonais, Uiicpapa, aiid Cut-head Sioux, at Milk River Agency . 2026 

River Crows 1240 

Mountain Crows 2700 

Flat-heads 400 

Pend d'Oreilles 1000 

Kooteuays 320 

Shoshones, Bannocks, and Sheep-eaters 077 

Roving Sioux, commonly called Teton Sioux, including those gathered dur- 
ing 1872 at and near Fort Feck (largely estimated) 8000 

Estimated total 30,412 

The number of Northern Cheyennes and Arapahoes roaming in 
Montana, who, it is believed, have co-operated with the Sioux un- 
der Sitting Bull, in their depredations, is not known : it is proba- 
bly less than 1000. 

The Blackfeet, Bloods, and Piegans (located at the Blackfeet 
Agency, on the Teton River, about seventy-five miles from Fort 
Benton), the Gros Yentres, Assinaboines, the River Crows, about 
1000 of the Northern Arapahoes and Cheyennes, and the Santee 
and Yankton Sioux (located at the Milk River Agency, on the 
Milk River, about one hundred miles from its mouth), occupy 


jointly a reservation in the extreme northern part of the Terri- 
tory, set apart by treaties (not ratified) made in 1868 with most 
of the tribes named, and containing about 17,408,000 acres. The 
Blackfeet, Bloods, and Picgans, particularly the last-named, band, 
have been, until within about two years, engaged in depredating 
upon the white settlers. The Indians at the Milk River Agency, 
with the exception of the Sioux, are now, and have been for sev- 
eral years, quiet and peaceable. The Sioux at this agency, or 
most of them, were engaged in the outbreak in Minnesota in 
1863. On the suppression of hostilities they fled to the northern 
part of Dakota, where they continued roaming until, in the fall 
of 1871, they went to their present location, with the avowed in- 
tention of remaining there. Although they had been at war for 
years with the Indians properly belonging to the Milk River Agen- 
cy, yet, by judicious management on the part of the agent of the 
Government stationed there, and the influence of some of the most 
powerful chiefs, the former feuds and difficulties were amicably 
arranged; and all parties have remained friendly to each other 
during the year past. The Indians at neither the Blackfeet nor 
the Milk River Agency show any disposition to engage in farm- 
ing ; nor have they thus far manifested any desire for the educa- 
tion of their children. They rely entirely upon the chase and 
upon the bounty of the Government for their support. They, 
however, quite scrupulously respect their obligation to preserve 
the peace; and no considerable difficulty has of late been expe- 
rienced, or is anticipated, in keeping them in order. The Black- 
feet, Bloods, and Piegans have an annual appropriation of $50,000 
made for their benefit ; the Assinaboines, $30,000 ; the Gros Ven- 
tres of the Prairie, $35,000 ; the River Crows, $30,000. These 
funds are used in furnishing the respective tribes with goods and 
subsistence, and generally for such other objects as may be deem- 
ed necessary to keep the Indians quiet. 

Mountain Crows. These Indians have a reservation of 6,273,000 
acres, lying in the southern part of the Territory, between the Yel- 
lowstone River and the north line of Wyoming Territory. They 
have always been friendly to the whites, but are inveterate ene- 
mies of the Sioux, with whom they have for years been at war. 
By the treaty of 1868 by the terms of which their present reser- 
vation was set apart for their occupancy they are liberally sup- 
plied with goods, clothing, and subsistence. But few of them 
are engaged in farming, the main body relying upon their success 
in hunting, and upon the supplies furnished by the Government 


for their support. They have one school in operation, with an at- 
tendance, however, of only nine scholars. By the treaty of May 
7th, 1868, provision is made by which they are to receive for a 
limited number of years the following annuities, etc., viz. : in 
clothing and goods, $22,723 (twenty -six instalments due); in 
beneficial objects, $25,000 (six instalments due) ; in subsistence, 
$131,400 (one instalment due). Blacksmiths, teachers, physician, 
carpenter, miller, engineer, and farmer are also furnished for their 
benefit, at an expense to the Government of $11,600. 

Flat-heads^ etc. The Flat-heads, Pend d'Oreilles, and Kootenays 
have a reservation of 1,433,600 acres in the Jocko Valley, situated 
in the north-western part of the Territory, and secured to them 
by treaty of 1855. This treaty also provided for a reservation in 
the Bitter-root Yalley, should the President of the United States 
deem it advisable to set apart another for their use. The Flafr- 
heads have remained in the last-named valley ; but under the pro* 
visions of the Act of June 5th, 1872, steps are being taken for their 
removal to the Jocko Reservation. Many of these Indians are en- 
gaged in agriculture ; but, as they receive little assistance from 
the Government, their progress in this direction is slow. They 
have one school in operation, with an attendance of twenty-seven 

Shoshones^ etc. The Shoshones, Bannocks, and Sheep-eaters are 
at present located about twenty miles above the mouth of the 
Lemhi Fork of the Salmon River, near the western boundary of 
the Territory. They have shown considerable interest in agri- 
culture, and many of them are quite successful as farmers. They 
have no reservation set apart for them, either by treaty or by Ex- 
ecutive order. They are so few in number that it would proba- 
bly be better to remove them, with their consent, to the Fort Hall 
Reservation in Idaho, where their brethren are located, than to 
provide them with a separate reservation. They have no schools 
in operation. An annual appropriation of $25,000 is made for 
these Indians, which sum is expended for their benefit in the pur- 
chase of clothing, subsistence, agricultural implements, etc. 


The Indians in this Territory, with the exception of the Sioux 
and Northern Arapahoes and Cheyennes, mentioned under the 
heads of Dakota and Montana, respectively, are the eastern band 
of Shoshones, numbering about 1000. The Shoshones are native 
to the country. Their reservation in the Wind River Valley, 


containing 2,688,000 acres, was set apart for them by treaty of 

But little advancement in civilization has been made by these 
Indians, owing to their indisposition to labor for a living, and to 
the incessant incursions into their country of the Sioux and the 
Northern Arapahocs and Cheycnues, with which tribes they have 
for many years been at war. The losses sustained from these in- 
cursions, and the dread which they inspire, tend to make the Sho- 
shones unsettled and unwilling to remain continuously on the res- 
ervation, They therefore spend most of the year in roaming and 
hunting, when they should be at work tilling the soil and improv- 
ing their lands. There is one school at the agency, having an at- 
tendance of ten scholars, in charge of an Episcopal missionary as 


The Indian tribes in Idaho are the !N"cz Percys, the Boise* and 
Bruneau Shoshones, and Bannocks, the Occur d'AlSnes, and Spo- 
kanes, with several other small bands, numbering in the aggregate 
about 5800 souls. * * * 

Shoshones and Bannocks. These Indians, numbering 1037 the 
former 516 and the latter 521 occupy a reservation in the south- 
eastern part of the Territory, near Fort Hall, formerly a military 
post. This reservation was set apart by treaty of 1 808 and Execu- 
tive order of July 30lh, 1SG9, and contains 1,568,000 acres. The 
Shoshones on this reservation have no treaty with the Govern- 
ment. Both bands are generally quiet and peaceable, and cause 
but little trouble ; are not disposed to engage in agriculture, and, 
with some assistance from the Government, depend upon hunting 
and fishing for subsistence. There is no school in operation on 
the reservation. 

Cosur d^AUnes, etc. The Cceur d'AlSnes, Spokanes, Kootenays, 
and Pend d'Oreilles, numbering about 2000, have no treaty with 
the United States, but have a reservation of 256,000 acres set 
apart for their occupancy by Executive order of June 14th, 1867, 
lying thirty or forty miles north of the Nez PcrcCs Reservation. 
They are peaceable, have no annuities, receive no assistance from 
the Government, and are wholly self-sustaining. These Indians 
have never been collected upon a reservation, nor brought under 
the immediate supervision of tin agent. So long as their country 
shall remain unoccupied, and not in demand for settlement by the 
whites, it will scarcely be desirable to make a change in their lo- 
cation; but the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad, 


which will probably pass through or near their range, may make 
it expedient to concentrate them. At present they are largely 
under the influence of Catholic missionaries of the Coeur d'A16ne 


The tribes residing in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, 
and Nevada are divided as follows : in Colorado, about 3800 : 
New Mexico, 19,000; Utah, 10,000; Arizona, 25,000 ; and Nevada 


The Indians residing in Colorado Territory are the Tabeqnache 
band of Utes, at the Los Pinos Agency, numbering 3000, and the 
Yampa, Grand Kiver, and Uintah bands of the White River Agen- 
cy, numbering 800. They are native to the section which they 
now inhabit, and have a reservation of 14,784,000 acres in the 
western part of the Territory, set apart for their occupancy by 
treaty made with them in 1868. The two agencies above named 
are established on this reservation, the White River Agency being 
in the northern part, on the river of that name, and the other in 
the south-eastern part. This reservation is much larger than is 
necessary for the number of Indians located within its limits; 
and, as valuable gold and silver mines have been, or are alleged 
to have been, discovered in the southern part of it, the discoveries 
being followed by the inevitable prospecting parties and miners, 
Congress, by Act of April 23d, 1872, authorized the Secretary of 
the Interior to enter into negotiations with the Utes for the extin- 
guishment of their right to the south part of it. 

A few of these Indians, who have declined to remove to and re- 
main upon the reservation, still roam in the eastern part of the 
Territory, frequently visiting Denver and its vicinity, and causing 
some annoyance to the settlers by their presence, but committing 
no acts of violence or extensive depredations. The Indians of 
Colorado have thus far shown but little interest in the pursuits 
of civilized life or in the education of their children. A school 
is in operation at the Northern or White River Agency, with an 
attendance of forty scholars. Steps are also being taken to open 
one at the southern or Los Pinos Agency. 


The tribes residing and roaming within the limits of New Mex- 
ico are the Navajoes,- the Mescalero, Gila, and Jicarilla bands of 


Apaches; the Muache, Capote, and Weeminuche bands of Utes; 
and the Pueblos. 

JVaD^^.--The Navajoes now number 9114, an increase of 880 
over last year's enumeration. Superintendent Pope considers this 
increase to be mainly due to the return, during the year, of a 
number who had been held in captivity by the Mexicans. They 
have a reservation of 3,328,000 acres in the north- western part of 
New Mexico and north-eastern part of Arizona, set apart for them 
by treaty of 1868. These Indians are natives of the section of 
the country where they are now located. Prior to 18G4 no less 
than seven treaties had been made with these tribes, which were 
successively broken on their part, and that, with but one excep- 
tion, before the Senate could take action on the question of their 
ratification. In 1864 the Navajoes were made captives by the 
military, and taken to the Bosque Redondo Reservation, which 
had been set apart for the Mescalero Apaches, where they were 
for a time held as prisoners of war, and then turned over to this 
Department. After the treaty of 1868 had been concluded, they 
were removed to their present location, where they have, as a tribe, 
remained quiet and peaceable, many of them being engaged in 
agriculture and in raising sheep and goats. Of these they have 
large flocks, numbering 130,000 head, which supply them not 
only with subsistence, but also with material from which they 
manufacture the celebrated, and for warmth and durability un- 
equalled, Navajo blanket. They also have a stock of 10,000 
horses. These Indians are industrious, attend faithfully to their 
crops, and even put in a second crop when the first, as frequently 
happens, is destroyed by drought or frost. One school is in ope- 
ration on the reservation, with an attendance of forty scholars. 

Mescalero Apaches. These Indians, numbering about 830, are 
at present located not, however, upon a defined reservation se- 
cured to them near Fort Stanton, in the eastern part of the Ter- 
ritory, and range generally south of that point. Prior to 1864 
they were located on the Bosque Redondo Reservation, where 
they were quiet and peaceable until the Navajoes were removed 
to that place. Being unable to live in harmony with the new- 
comers, they fled from the reservation, and until quite recently 
have been more or less hostile. They are now living at peace 
with the whites, and conducting themselves measurably well. 
They have no schools, care nothing apparently about the educa- 
tion of their children, and are not to any noticeable extent en- 
gaged in farming, or in any pursuit of an industrial character. 


These Indians have no treaty with the United States; nor do 
they receive any annuities. They are, however, subsisted in part 
by the Government, and are supplied with a limited quantity of 
clothing when necessary. In addition to the Mescaleros proper, 
Agent Curtis reports as being embraced in his agency other In- 
diana, called by him Aguas Nuevos, 440 ; Lipans, 850 (probably 
from Texas) ; and Southern Apaches, 810, whose proper home is 
no doubt upon the Tularosa Reservation. These Indians, the 
agent remarks, came from the Comanche country to his agency 
at various dates during the past year. 

Gilo, (sometimes called Southern) Apaches. This tribe is com- 
posed of two bands, the Mimbres and Mogollons, and number 
about 1200. They are warlike, and have for years been generally 
unfriendly to the Government. The citizens of Southern New 
Mexico, having long suffered from their depredatory acts, loudly 
demanded that they be removed ; and to comply with the wish 
of the people, as well as to prevent serious difficulties and possi- 
bly war, it was a year or two since decided to provide the Indians 
with a reservation distant from their old home, and there estab- 
lish them. With a view to that end a considerable number of 
them were collected early last year at Canada Alamosa. Subse- 
quently, by Executive order dated November 9th, 1871, a reserva- 
tion was set apart for them with other roving bands of Apaches 
in the Tularosa Valley, to which place 450 of them are reported 
to have been removed during the present year by United States 
troops. These Indians, although removed against their will, were 
at first pleased with the change, but, after a short experience of 
their new home, became dissatisfied ; and no small portion left 
the reservation to roam outside, disregarding the system of passes 
established. They bitterly object to the location as unhealthy, 
the climate being severe and the water bad. There is undoubt- 
edly much truth in these complaints. They ask to be taken back 
to Canada Alamosa, their own home, promising there to be peace- 
able and quiet. Of course nothing can be "said of them favorable 
to the interests of education and labor. Such of these Indians as 
remain on the reservation are being fed by the Government. They 
have no treaty with the United States ; nor do they receive annu- 
ities of any kind. 

Jicarilla Apaches. These Indians, numbering about 850, have 
for several years been located with the Muache Utes, about 650 in 
number, at the Cimarron Agency, upon what is called " Maxwell's 
Grant," in North-eastern New Mexico. They have no treaty rela- 



tions with the Government; nor have they any reservation set 
apart for them. Efforts were made some years ago to have them, 
with the Utes referred to, remove to the large Ute Reservation in 
Colorado, but without success. The Ciinarron Agency, however, 
has lately heen discontinued ; and these Apaches will, if it can 
be effected without actual conflict, be removed to the Mescalero 
Agency at Fort Stanton. Four hundred Jicarilla Apaches are also 
reported as being at the Tierra Amarilla Agency. 

Muaclw, Weeminuche, and Capote Utes. These bands the Mu- 
ache band, numbering about 650, heretofore at the Cimarron 
Agency, and the other two bands, numbering 870, at the Abiquiu 
Agency are all parties to the treaty made with the several bauds 
of Utes in 1868. It has been desired to have these Indians re- 
move to their proper reservation in Colorado ; but all efforts to 
this end have thus far proved futile. The discontinuance of the 
Cimarron Agency may have the effect to cause the Muachcs to 
remove either to that reservation or to the Abiquiu Agency, now 
located at Tierra A